Text Box:    Confederate Memorial Day was officially celebrated in Portland on Sunday, April 26, 2009, at the grave of our Camp namesake, most likely the first time the solemn occasion had been celebrated in the city in decades.  Camp 458 was originally chartered in 1903, but withered away by 1930.  
   Camp 458 was resurrected in January of 2003, 100 years after its original inception.  The core members and friends of the Camp were there at River View Cemetery in force, and really honored the Confederate veterans buried in Oregon, and Confederate our ancestors, well.  
   Cadet member Dominic Russo got the group called to order with a drum cadence at 1:00pm, and Camp Color Sergeant Dan Burch got the event started.  
   After Commander Ernst’s opening remarks and a concise history of Confederate Memorial Day, Compatriot Kevin Gore gave an amazing invocation, reading from Ecclesiastes 3:4.  ATM Lt-Commander Brent Jacobs then gave a very in-depth presentation on the life and labors of Col. Isaac Smith (it can now be read on the “history” page of the Camp website).  Dan then read a Proclamation from Camp 458 declaring April 26th to henceforth be celebrated as Confederate Memorial Day in Oregon.  The Proclamation was signed by all Camp members present, and will be framed and kept in the Camp archives.
   Associate Member Harold Slavik offered an interesting presentation on three different Confederate veterans who left their mark on Oregon’s history, including Benjamin Lee Arnold, the second President of what became Oregon State University in 1890.  
   Following the singing of the hymn sung at JEB Stuart’s deathbed, “Rock of Ages”, Bryan Jacobs gave the keynote address.  His speech begged us to ask ourselves just why we cherish this part of our heritage, and told us his personal answers to the question.  It was extremely heartfelt, and emotional for those in attendance.  
   Mrs. Bettie Russo then came to the podium in her black mourning dress and veil.  She gave a very impassioned explanation of the mourning period during and after the War, as well as discussed some of the beginnings of Confederate Memorial Day.  Her presentation was very moving, and she left everyone feeling a small piece of the great sadness so many widows and mothers must have felt during the War for Southern Independence.  She then, with Brent Jacobs’ assistance, laid a wreath on the grave of Col. Isaac W. Smith.  Bettie’s granddaughter, Hope, then gave each person in attendance a red rose.  Everyone quietly and respectfully filed by Col. Smith’s final resting place and paid their respects to him, and in spirit to all Confederate veterans, by gently placing the roses on his simple grave.  Compatriot Kevin Gore played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes as everyone laid their roses.
   Color Sergeant Dan Burch then gave the order to Sergeant Harold Slavik to render honors.  The Rifle Squad, which included Dan Russo, deftly fired three salvos in salute.  This was followed by the singing of Dixie, led by Camp Commander Ernst, with Erik Ernst giving the benediction, thereby ending the ceremonies.
   In addition to Col. Smith, there are four other Confederates known to be buried in River View Cemetery:  Sgt. Albert Theodore Smith - 14th Texas Light Artillery, Pvt. Samuel Gilbert Dowell - Co. D 23rd Arkansas Cavalry, and Pvt. John Franklin O’Dell & Pvt. Elisha Monroe Grimes, both of Co. I 9th Texas Infantry.  They are not forgotten...

(L) Honor Guard fires a salute while a widow mourns at a grave; (R) Compatriot Bryan Jacobs delivers keynote address

Confederate Memorial Day Celebrated in Portland, Oregon