Saturday morning, we woke to temperatures in the low 20's, and as I added layers and gathered cold weather gear, I considered that the frigid temperatures would likely mean a small, but dedicated crowd at the flag raising in Prince George later that morning. The forecast called for cloudy skies and high winds, but by the time we arrived at the site, the sun made an appearance and when the service began at 11:00 a.m., and to our amazement, over 150 folks had gathered to be a part of the dedication ceremony.
The Edmund Ruffin Fire-Eaters Camp #3000 Color Guard opened the ceremony, accompanied by Pipe Major David Hinton. Army of Northern Virginia Mechanized Cavalry Major Willie Wells shared information on the history of the Great Beef Steak Raid, and Wayne Jones of South Carolina spoke about General Wade Hampton.
Honks of approval from passing vehicles began even before the flag was raised. This trucker actually pulled his rig over right on the side of I-95 to take photos in the middle of the ceremony!
This project was a joint effort of the Virginia Flaggers and the Army of Northern Virginia Mechanized Cavalry, and the lion's share of the site work was done by Willie Wells. To honor him for his hard work and dedication the honor of raising the flag was given to four generations of Wellses...Willie Earl Wells, Jr., Willie Earl Wells III, Wade Hampton Wells, and Kamdin Wayne Wells, all helped hoist her high, while Pipe Major David Hinton played "The Bonnie Blue Flag". The brisk wind meant that she immediately flew at full sail, to the cheers and delight of all who had gathered.
After the flag was raised, the Captain William Latane Camp #1690 Color Guard fired a rifle salute, followed by a cannon salute, benediction and a rousing rendition of "Dixie's Land" by all in attendance.
The I-95 Wade Hampton Memorial Battle flag was dedicated to the Glory of God and in memory and honor of General Wade Hampton and the Confederate soldiers who fought and died in defense of the Commonwealth. She will also fly as a 24/7 reminder that there are still many of us with Confederate blood flowing through our veins who are no longer willing to sit quietly by while our history and heritage, and the honor of our ancestors is attacked.
The visibility of this location is stunning, and we were able to get several good photos from I-95, and with the help of Judy Smith Photography, Jeff Seymour, and our friends at Tredegar DroneWorks.
View from I-95 Northbound Lane
Aerial view courtesy of Tredegar DroneWorks
The Virginia Flaggers and the Army of Northern Virginia Mechanized Cavalry wish to thank each and every person whose generosity made this project and this glorious day possible, including James Bibb and the folks at "Just Go Detecting", who raffled off a hand made ANV battle flag, the proceeds of which paid for the custom 20' x 20' battle flag that was raised. We were pleased that they could attend the ceremony so that we could thank them in person...
Thank you all for your continued support. This was the 18th roadside memorial flag raised in the Commonwealth, and the third on I-95 since the fall of 2013, and we are every day in awe of the way God is moving and working among His people, to further His kingdom and our Cause.
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150