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Lt. James T. Woodward Camp 1399
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Warner Robins, Georgia
P.O. Box 1823, Warner Robins, GA 31099 - http://scvcamp1399.org/

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Sons of Confederate Veterans

Grave Marker Dedication held for George R. Asbell, Slappey Guards, Company 'G' 48th Georgia Infantry

03/13/10
By Steve Scroggins

See the photos below of the event held Saturday March 13, 2010.

The Savannah Militia Camp 1657 website has posted the story & pics that ran in the Twiggs Times New Era the week before the event.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans and descendants of George R. Asbell and guests held a ceremony to dedicate a veteran’s grave marker Saturday March 13th at the Asbell/Sanders/Lamb family cemetery located on Ed Brown’s property behind Brown’s Wrecker Service and Body Shop just off GA 96 on Patricia Drive in Twiggs County.

George R. Asbell served in the Slappey Guards, Company ‘G’ of the 48th Georgia Infantry during the War Between the States. The Slappey Guards as well as the Faulk Invincibles (Company E, 26th Georgia) and two other local units are recognized on the Confederate monument in Jeffersonville.

Asbell descendants from Warner Robins as well as from Meldrim, GA in the Savannah area were on hand for the ceremony. Organizers estimated 50 to 60 people were present despite threatening skies. The ceremony opened with a welcome and prayer by Kim M. Beck, the Georgia Division 4th Brigade Commander and member of Eastman’s Pine Barrens Volunteers Camp 2039. Steve Scroggins, Commander of the Lt. James T. Woodward Camp 1399 in Warner Robins delivered an address honoring Asbell and his brothers-in-arms of the 48th Georgia Regiment who fought to defend their country, their homes, families and firesides.

Beck explained that he had a call from the SCV Georgia Division Commander Jack Bridwell (of Moultrie, GA) seeking help to locate and mark the grave of George R. Asbell which was being sought by descendants. Ed Brown had located the family cemetery on his property some years earlier and it came to the attention of local genealogists. Beck ordered and placed a granite marker recognizing Asbell’s Confederate service and unit. Russ Huffman, Commander of Jeffersonville’s Clinch’s Cavalry Camp 2084, arranged to get descendants including a granddaughter and a grandson, George W. Asbell, 82, of Meldrim to the dedication ceremony along with a number of their family members. George W. Asbell is a member of the Savannah Militia Camp 1657.

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans from Camps in Eastman, Jeffersonville, Cochran, Macon, Savannah and Warner Robins were present for the ceremony including a number in re-enactor’s uniforms. After a rifle volley salute was fired, the Confederate flag on the grave was formally folded and presented to George W. Asbell with grateful remembrance for countrymen whose principles and memory will live forever.

For the benefit of guests, Scroggins explained and read “The Charge” as SCV’s founding creed and noted the expressed concern for truth in history.

“The headlines from Texas this week show us that the battle to defend the truth in history text books continues until this day. The revisionists continue to try to paint Confederates as ‘traitors’ and suggest that the war as solely over slavery. The truth is very different. The principle that ‘governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed’ was as true in 1860 as it was in 1776. The founding principles which justified the colonies’ secession from the British empire are the same principles that justified the secession of the southern states in 1860-61.”

Everyone knows the proverb that history is written by the victors. Scroggins quoted Confederate General Patrick R. Cleburne from his warning to southerners during the war:

"... Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late. ... It means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War, will be impressed by all influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, our maimed veterans as fit objects for their derision. ...to establish sectional superiority and a more centralised form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties."
--Major General Patrick Cleburne, C.S.A. (Jan. 2, 1864)

“In addition to fighting to defend founding principles, the southern soldier was fighting for plain old self-defense,” Scroggins said. “Our duty is to see that true history is presented to future generations.”

George R. Asbell, his three Asbell brothers (Andrew, John, Stephen) and the other Georgia men serving in the 48th Georgia Regiment served in all the major battles as part of Longstreet’s Corps in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment was formed March 22, 1862 and after a brief assignment near Charleston, S.C., they spent the remainder of the war in northern Virginia until the surrender at Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865. The notable exceptions were when Lee’s army ventured into Maryland (Sharpsburg) and Pennsylvania (Gettysburg).

George R. Asbell was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville (VA) May 3rd, 1863 a battle that was depicted in the movie Gods and Generals. The 48th Georgia, starting with roughly 1000 men in 1862, surrendered at Appomattox with 193 men and 13 officers. On average across the South, one in five men of military age (20%) did not survive the war.

Before the war, George R. Asbell was married to Elizabeth Jane Vaughn (born Feb. 16, 1845) on Dec. 13, 1860. They had five children together before Elizabeth died March 18, 1876 of pneumonia.

Soon thereafter, George R. Asbell married Georgia Ann Davis [b. 2/27/1860 – d. 1/2/1940 ] who was 20 years his junior and they had 12 children. Georgia Ann Davis Asbell is buried in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church cemetery in Twiggs County. Two of their daughters, Inez Elizabeth Asbell Lee and Georgia Asbell Waters are buried in the Lee Family Cemetery in Twiggs County. George R. Asbell was a school teacher for some years in Twiggs County. He was a member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and the Masonic Lodge in Jeffersonville. Born March 24, 1840, he died Aug. 11, 1906.

Click the thumbnails below to see larger versions. Photos by Janine Beck.

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Re-enactor Honor Guard forming up
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Steve Scroggins (far right) calling assembly to their seats
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A portion of the assembly
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First volley of rifle salute
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Third volley of rifle salute
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Honor Guard folds flag (Walter Duckworth-1399, left; Ricky Smith-1399, right)
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Ricky Smith (1399) presents folded flag to grandson George W. Asbell (Camp 1657)
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Clipping from March 11th Twiggs Times New Era

Photo and clipping from Twiggs Times New Era 3/11/10
Photo and clipping from Twiggs Times New Era 3/11/2010

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