Decoration Day featured in stories from The Messenger archives

Published 7:18 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Editor’s note: The stories featured in this column, and more, can be found in The Messenger’s archives on

Memorial Day was originally known as “Decoration Day.”  During the Civil War, women began to decorate the graves of soldiers who died during the war as a way to remember their sacrifice.  It was officially designated as Decoration Day on May 30, 1868.  Over the years, it became known as Memorial Day and in 1971 it was officially observed on the last Monday in May.  Memorial Day is a day to remember the people that died in defense of our country.  It’s important to remember that freedom isn’t free and so many men and women have lost their lives defending our freedom.  Below are several articles about soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Joe Redmon, of Shellhorn, was a visitor here today.  He is expecting home soon his son, Walter, who has been in the government service during the war, up in Alaska, building railroads and aiding in getting out airplane material.  The young man had started home from Alaska, but on reaching Vancouver, he became ill and suffered a serious case of influenza and pneumonia.  He has about recovered now, and comes to Camp Sheridan at Montgomery to be mustered out.

Mr. Redmon had one son, Jobe, killed in France, being killed on Nov. 9th, just two days before the armistice was signed.  He also has one son, Andrew, who is still in France.  All of his sons were in the service during the war.

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In speaking of his son, Jobe, who made the supreme sacrifice, Mr. Redmon spoke lovingly of the boy’s patriotism and earnestness in the country’s cause.

“I was not surprised that he was killed in the service, at the forefront of battle,” said Mr. Redmon.  “History almost repeats itself there,” he said.  “I had a brother who fought in the War Between the State for three years, in many battles and close places, then was the last man of hi regiment killed before the surrender.”

In 1944, another Trojan made the supreme sacrifice in France. 

Mrs. Dorothy Jordan, of Ansley, Route 2, has received a telegram from the War Department stating that her son, Private Lewis N. Jordan, died on August 22nd as the result of wounds suffered in action.  Private Jordan is an only son.

Private Jordan was inducted into service in December 1941, at Camp McClellan, near Anniston, and was later assigned to a tank destroyer battalion.  He was sent to Fort Bragg, N.C., and later was sent to a camp in the State of Massachusetts and from there to Pine Camp, N.Y.

He landed somewhere in Africa in August, 1943, and had seen active service in several theatres of operation until fatally wounded.

Also in 1943, Private Grady l. Jones, formerly of Troy was killed in action in the North Africa area.  Private Jones joined the National Guard in 1940 and joined the United States Army.  He made application and was transferred into the Paratroop Division.  Following his training he was sent to the fighting area in North Africa.

Lance Corporal Thomas John Dawson Campbell of the U. S. Marine Corps was killed at an airfield in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam.  He sustained multiple fragmentation wounds from hostile rocket fire.  He was a native of Pike County and was known as Tommy to his friends and classmates.  He was on his second tour of duty in Vietnam and had been in the Marine Corps for four years.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.