Main Page |
About Wetumpka |
Pictures From Past Parades |
Rylee Nicole Goodman |
News Clippings |
Confederate History Month
April 24th 2007 - The Wetumpka Herald
Celebrating the South’s past
By Peggy Blackburn - Managing Editor
The sun smiled on the annual Confederate History and Heritage Celebration held Saturday in downtown Wetumpka. After the
inclement weather of the past two years, the sunshine was a welcome change.
“The parade went really well,” said Mike Whorton, one of the event organizers. “We had more than 140 in the parade; and
there were walkers, floats, trucks and motorcycles.”
Many of the participants were attired in period dress with women in hoop skirts and men in grey uniforms. The “Stars and
Bars” also figured prominently in the procession.
Following the parade, about 250 attendees gathered in Gold Star Park to visit vendors, hear bluegrass music by the Highway
280 Band, enjoy concessions and listen to speakers Von McQueen and Dr. Michael Hill.
A highlight of the sixth annual event was the unfurling of a Confederate flag from the Bibb Graves Bridge and its brief
“We had a great day and everything went well,” Whorton said. “This is just a chance for us to get together every year and
honor our Confederate ancestors.
More than 30,000 Alabamians died in that conflict,” he continued. “Two out of three people in Alabama can trace their
lineage back to a Confederate soldier.”
In conjunction with the celebration, donations were accepted for the fourth consecutive year for the Rylee Nicolle Goodman
Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship was established to honor the four-year-old who was killed in a tragic traffic
accident in June 2003.
“I just want to thank everyone for contributing to the scholarship fund in her memory,” said Gwen Sides, Goodman’s
grandmother. “She loved this event. She loved her scarlet dress and carrying her Rebel flag.”
Whorton said he is already looking forward to next year’s celebration.
“We had a lot of people and they had a good time,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to the big 150th anniversary
event that will be held statewide in 2011.”
April 3rd 2005 - The Montgomery Advertiser
Kirsten J. Barnes
The Elmore County Confederate History and Heritage Day Celebration was held Saturday in Wetumpka.
The fourth annual event began at 10 a.m. with a parade down West Bridge Street. The celebration continued through
downtown until about 2 p.m., ending at the Elmore County Courthouse.
"It was supposed to end at Gold Star Park, but it was under water today," said Mike Whorton, chairman of the event's
organizing committee. "The flood flooded us out of the park."
The event held each year in April, during Confederate Heritage and History Month, drew more than 300 people and included
floats, horseback riding, vendors and a performance by Twilight, a bluegrass band.
Confederate-era uniforms and antebellum-period clothing was worn by participants and attendees.
In addition to the promotion of Confederate heritage, the event raised money for a scholarship fund in honor of Rylee
Goodman, the 4-year-old daughter of Chad and Lynn Goodman who was killed almost two years ago.
"We raised $500 today for the First Baptist Church Christian Daycare in Wetumpka," Whorton said. "We did that in honor
of her and her family. Even as a little girl she was very active, along with her parents."
April 14th 2002 - The Montgomery Advertiser
WETUMPKA – They came to remember their ancestors who wore gray uniforms and fought in battles in places like Gettysburg,
Chickamauga and Selma.
“I’m here today to honor my great-grandfather Lisbon Failes Gober,” said Niki Gober, 22, of Wetumpka. Lisbon Gober, she
said, was a Confederate soldier from Forsyth, Ga., who settled in Millbrook after the Civil War.
“I’m proud to be here. And I’m proud to represent my great-grandfather.”
About 200 people attended a parade Saturday as part of Confederate History and Heritage Day in Wetumpka. Mayor R. Scott
Golden proclaimed the day as part of Confederate Heritage and History Month. April 22 is the Confederate Memorial Holiday,
when many governmental offices will be closed.
During the parade, participants sang “Dixie,” and gave an occasional Rebel yell. The League of the South organized the
Like many other participants, Bill Anthony of Tallassee and Alan Parker of Montgomery wore Confederate uniforms. Many of
the women wore hoop skirts and other period clothing.
Larry Sikes of Montgomery, the only black spectator at the rally at the courthouse plaza, said he attended because it is
an important part of the South’s history.
“We celebrate black history, so it seems only fair to me that we celebrate Confederate history too,” Sikes said.
Wetumpka City Councilman David Haynes said about 70 Confederate soldiers are buried at Wetumpka City Cemetery.
Haynes said the First Presbyterian Church was chosen as the start of the parade because the Wetumpka Light Guard rallied
there on April 27, 1861, to leave for the war. The Light Guard was a local militia group of about 90 Wetumpka area men.
At Montgomery, the Light Guard militia soldiers merged with the Third Alabama Infantry, a Montgomery-based unit of about
1,000 Confederate soldiers, Haynes said. The men then traveled by train to Virginia, where they were positioned in the
field with various combat units.
Leonard Wilson of Jasper, one of the speakers, praised William Lowndes Yancey, a Wetumpka newspaper publisher in the months
leading up to the Civil War, as “a fire eater” who spoke out for states’ rights.
“Yancey’s spirit lives yet today in you and me and countless others throughout the Southland,” Wilson said.
Pat Godwin of Selma, who marched in the parade, said the Confederate cause centered on states’ rights.
Before the start of the Civil War, clashes had ensued between Southerners and legislators in the North over the right of
individual states as compared to federal rights. Slavery was one of the major points of contention.
“I’m proud to be here to honor our Confederate soldiers who fought for a cause they believed in,” said Godwin. “I believe
in our right to honor our Confederate dead. I believe in it from the bottom of my heart to the marrow of my bones.”
Confederate Heritage and History Day is hosted by the William Lowndes Yancey Wetumpka chapter of the
League of the South.
To contact us about the parade please send email to email@example.com