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    Mr. Winn pours a “drink” of water into a Confederate veteran’s grave. This is symbolic of a Confederate soldier’s taking water to wounded comrades after a battle in the Civil War.
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    Ladies dressed as Confederate widows placed red roses on veterans’ graves.
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    Gatlin home place
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    The lady pictured is Jon Margaret Gatlin, who is a descendant of Edward Valentine Gatlin, on whose land the Cemetery was begun.
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    Tombstone of EV Valentine

Confederate ceremonies held at Gatlin-Matlock Cemetery, Mt. Enterprise

Confederate ceremonies held at Gatlin-Matlock Cemetery, Mt. Enterprise

 

Ceremonies were held by members of Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) at 12:00 noon on Saturday, March 6, 2020 at Gatlin-Matlock Cemetery, Gatlin Road in Mt. Enterprise, Rusk County.

 

Members of SCV came to the ceremonies dressed in Confederate gray and carrying rifles that were like the ones used during the Civil War. The Sons of Confederate members brought a Civil War-era cannon with them, as well.

 

Two women dressed as Confederate widows conducted the “Rose Ceremony”, where they placed red roses (not live) on each Confederate grave. They then retired to the side of the fenced cemetery to watch the rest of the ceremonies.

 

The SCV also conducted the Last Canteen Rite where Mr. Winn leaned over each of the Confederate graves to pour a drink from his canteen. It signifies that the departed comrades can rejoin their ranks.

 

The ceremonies concluded with a firing of blanks from the rifles and the cannon.

 

A visit with Miss Jon Margaret Gatlin, descendant of Edward Valentine (known as Ned, born 1819, died 1883) Gatlin who first settled in Mt. Enterprise from Tennessee. Miss Gatlin said that Gatlinburg, Tennessee was named for one of Ned Gatlin’s relatives. One of Mr. Gatlin’s daughters married a Matlock, so Matlocks are buried in the family cemetery, as well.

 

The old Gatlin homeplace is now a pile of stones and bricks, but the brick chimney still stands. According to Miss Gatlin, there were once about eight families of Gatlins and Matlocks who lived on what is now Gatlin-Matlock Cemetery Road.

 

There are many unexpected treasures to be found in old East Texas towns. A wealth of information about Texas’ past and its people can be found in old cemeteries and abandoned home sites. One of these turned out to be Gatlin-Matlock Cemetery.

 

Thank you to the Mt. Enterprise CSV group for remembering and commemorating people who fought in the past for ideals in which they believed.