“Lucas L. Meredith, Jr., 87, of Dewitt, Virginia, passed away on January 28, 2012. Born in 1924 to the late Lucas L. and Mary Francis Gregory Meredith, Mr. Meredith was a Navy Veteran of World War II, seeing service in the Pacific. He owned the Flower Mart in Petersburg for more than half a century. Mr. Meredith was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp A. P. Hill, #167. A memorial service honoring his life will be held at 11 am, Saturday, February 4, at Rocky Run Methodist Church, Dewitt, Virginia.”
A typical obituary anyone might read from a sleepy, small Southern town?
Not in the case of this American!
You see, Mr. Meredith’s late father—Lucas L. Meredith, Sr., who passed away in 1927—was also a veteran … a Confederate veteran! Which across the Old South, makes his son…a real son.
Mr. Meredith’s father--born on March 15, 1842, in DeWitt, Virginia--was sworn into the Confederate Army at Dinwiddie Court House on May 23, 1861. His uncle—his father’s older brother, James—took the strongest horse in the family stable and joined the 3rd Virginia Cavalry, serving under Gen. J. E. B. Stuart as a corporal. His dad ended up in the infantry: Private Lucas L. Meredith, Co. C, 3rd Virginia Infantry, Kemper’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division. Both brothers would survive the war.
Captured at Five Forks in early April 1865, Lucas Meredith trudged back from a POW camp to Dewitt a few weeks later, returning to farming, yet eventually becoming a licensed veterinarian.
In 1996, your correspondent met Pvt. Meredith’s namesake son in Richmond. As we both had relatives in Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s Division—his father in the 3rd Virginia of Kemper’s Brigade, my great, great grandfather in the 9th Virginia of Armistead’s Brigade—it seemed we might “connect” on a few points of common interest. Yet truth be told, yours truly was totally entranced, hearing Mr. Meredith tell how his father at one point in Pickett’s Charge had actually carried forth one of the regimental or company standards.
Personally, it was a marvelous, memorable meeting. Yet we both realized on parting, that had both our “ancestors” died at the High Water Mark that third day of July, 1863, we both would not exist. R.I.P., Mr. Meredith.
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