Heritage Day marked the culmination of two separate Eagle Scout projects to mark Confederate grave sites in the area.
Dane Smith, a scout from Troop 1361 of Gainesville, received a warm welcome from dozens of Alabama Sons of Confederate Veterans who made the trip to Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park to see the work he and his fellow scouts had done to clear out a long-neglected cemetery of their forebears in the 10th Alabama Regiment. Smith chose as his Eagle Scout project the cemetery's restoration. On Saturday, a color guard snapped off gun salutes while the Sons covered the newly-cleared ground with Alabama soil.
On the same day, Alex Ray, a scout from Troop 715 of Richmond, unveiled his Eagle Scout project: a stone marker commemorating the Battle of Buckland and the three Confederate soldiers buried on a hill on Buckland Farm. David Blake, the farm's owner, accepted the marker, which was made from one of the stones recovered from the historic National Theater in Richmond. After a small ceremony, Ray joined his father, Edwin Ray, in firing a cannon salute.
Alabama Sons of Confederate Veterans pour their home soil on the newly-uncovered graves of Confederates buried in the Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park. Photo by Mark Grandstaff