St. Clair Camp #308, Sons of Confederate Veterans, was chartered in Ashville, Alabama on May 15, 1986 with twenty members. The name St. Clair Camp is unique in that it was named by the Confederate Veterans themselves. On July 6, 1911, Confederate Civil War Veterans gathered for a reunion in Odenville, Alabama. The scene at Odenville was one that will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
The main event of the reunion was the unfurling of the Fifty-eighth Alabama Infantry Flag. Many of the veterans had not seen the banner since the day of Appottomax when the standard bearer of their regiment tore it from the staff and hid it away in his soldier blouse in order that it might not find its way into the hands of the enemy. Prior to the unfurling, Judge John W. Inzer, himself a member of the Fifty-eighth Alabama, had talked to his old comrades and those from other regiments for about fifteen minutes of which he talked about the flag.
At last came the moment when Judge Inzer carefully unwrapped the cloth that held the flag enclosed. As the flag was being unwrapped, an old veteran stepped quickly forward and grasping tenderly the hem of the banner, raised it reverently to his lips, tears streaming down his face. One by one his comrades followed him until they were gathered around the flag, probably for the last time, about fifty survivors of the regiment. There was not a dry eye in the group as one old comrade, his face literally bathed in tears, dried those tears on the blood-stained colors of his old regiment. Judge Inzer continued to speak as he stood in the center of the group. He talked with pride about the flag and his comrades, but there was no bitterness in his voice nor was there a word uttered against the men once his foes. But one thing did he declare that neither he nor his comrades were rebels, but they were fighting for the principles of the constitution as it then was and they interpreted it.
After the morning activities and lunch, the veterans gathered again and formed a camp which will be known hereafter as the St. Clair Camp. The afternoon meeting was addressed by Gardner Greene of Pell City, who spoke of raising a monument to the veterans of St. Clair County. The suggestion was taken up with enthusiasm by the people who had assembled around the veterans, and resolutions adopted. 1
Today, St. Clair Camp #308 has over fifty members. Camp meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month excluding the months of February (Lee/Jackson Banquet), June (summer party/picnic), and December (Christmas party). The meetings are held at the historic John W. Inzer Museum beginning at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments served from 6:00-6:30 p.m. We often have informative programs to enlighten us on politically unbiased views concerning the reasons behind The War Between The States, Confederate history, heritage, and much more. All are welcome, please join us.
1Citation--Information published July 6, 1911, St. Clair News, Ragland, Alabama