Thursday, November 30, 2017

Paulides' new 'Missing 411' book continues look at unusual disappearances

I finished reading a great book over the weekend, and I think that many in the reading audience will also find it interesting, especially hunters, hikers, campers and other outdoorsmen.

Investigative reporter and former police detective David Paulides released “Missing 411: Off the Grid” in late October, and once I started reading it, I couldn’t hardly put it down. “Off the Grid” is the seventh book in Paulides’ “Missing 411” series, which details highly unusual missing person cases from the United States and other countries. This latest 401-page book contains information on hundreds of bizarre disappearances from 30 states and six foreign countries that aren’t described in Paulides’ earlier books.

Paulides doesn’t just present run-of-the-mill missing person cases, only those that meet a pre-established set of unusual profile points that he looks for while combing through thousands of missing persons reports. These cases typically involve incidents in which tracking dogs either inexplicably lose a missing person’s scent or unable to find a scent at all. He also describes cases in which unusual weather plays a role, either by delaying or halting search efforts.

Paulides also takes a close look at cases in which the missing person is found, but with certain items of clothing either missing or worn improperly. I was surprised by the number of cases in the book in which people are found with one or both shoes missing for no apparent good reason. In some cases, the person isn’t found at all, only their clothes.

Paulides also details cases that involve individuals with disabilities and illnesses as well as cases that involve bodies of water, boulders and granite, and swamps and bogs. Through his research, Paulides has identified “clusters” around the country where unusual disappearances happen frequently, especially in and around national parks.

Paulides also discusses how the National Park Service and other government agencies have been less than helpful when it comes to providing him with information for his books. I think that Paulides is on to something highly unusual with his research, and I think that the National Park Service and other government agencies should be compelled to assist him to the fullest, especially when it comes to public information requests. Believe me, if one of my relatives were missing in one of these areas, I would be highly upset to know that the government was either dragging its feet (or covering up something) regarding their disappearance.

With that said, I really enjoyed reading about how professional search-and-rescue and law enforcement personnel conduct missing person searches in remote parts of our country. Members of our local rescue squad, firefighters and law enforcement officers will likely find this latest “Missing 411” book very interesting.

In the end, copies of Paulides’ latest book are $24.99 each, plus shipping and handling, and can be purchased online at If you enjoy “Off the Grid,” I highly recommend that you check out the other six books in the series, which include the original “Missing 411” book, “Missing 411: Western United States & Canada,” “Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence,” “Missing 411: Hunters,” “Missing 411: North America and Beyond” and “Missing 411: Eastern United States.” I’ve read several of these, and they are just as thought-provoking and intriguing as his latest book.

With one week to go, Arthur Ingram III hangs on to No. 1 spot in local contest

The 13th weekend of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest wrapped up on Saturday, and Hillcrest High School assistant football coach Arthur Ingram III held on to the top spot in the local standings for the fourth straight week.

Ingram, who has 547 total points in the contest, has a seven-point lead over past champion Hunter Norris, who jumped into second place (540 points) from the No. 3 spot. Ricky Taylor fell from second place into third place (537 points), and I remained in fourth place (535 points) for the second straight week.

Casey Grant went from sixth place to fifth place (534 points), and Clint Hyde went from ninth place to sixth place (528 points). Defending champion Drew Skipper and Mike Dailey were tied for seventh place (526 points). Phig Newton and “Murder Creek Man 78” were tied for ninth place (518 points), and Travis Presley was in 11th place (511 points).

This coming Saturday will mark the final week of this year’s contest, and Ingram appears to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to this year’s contest. This week’s slate of games will feature 10 marquee matchups and if a contestant correctly picks the outcomes of all of those games, they’ll receive 55 total points. With that said, a number of contestants remain within striking distance of this year’s local pick ‘em crown.

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The Southeastern Conference wrapped up its regular season schedule on Saturday, and this Saturday’s SEC Championship Game will feature Auburn and Georgia. This looks to be a good game, and Auburn is favored to win. I’m actually expecting Georgia to win for two reasons. The game is being played in Atlanta, and it’s really hard to beat a really good team twice. Last week: 6-3. So far this year: 88-22.

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Hillcrest High School’s varsity football team has played its way back into the state playoff semifinals and will host the first-ever state playoff semifinal game in Evergreen history tomorrow (Friday) night when they play a rematch against Clarke County High School at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen. Prior to this year, Hillcrest and Evergreen High School never hosted a playoff game beyond the second round.

The only other team in county history to ever host a playoff game beyond the second round was Repton High School, which arguably has the best overall playoff record in the county’s history. In 1985, the Bulldogs hosted three playoff games in Repton – a second-round game against Frisco City on Nov. 15, a semi-final round game against Beulah on Nov. 29 and a state championship game against Sand Rock on Dec. 6.

Two years later, in 1987, Repton hosted a first-round game against Sweet Water on Nov. 6 and a quarterfinal-round game against New Site on Nov. 20. The following year, in 1988, which was the last year of football at Repton, the Bulldogs hosted three playoff games in the second, quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.

In the end, when you look at everything involved, I think you could make the argument that tomorrow night’s Hillcrest-Clarke County game is the biggest high school football game ever played in the history of Evergreen. I wish them all the best and hope that they’ll make a little more history the following week.

Today in History for Nov. 30, 2017

Nov. 30, 1498 – Spanish captain and explorer Andrés de Urdaneta was born in Ordizia, Gipuzkoa, Crown of Castile.

Nov. 30, 1667 – Johnathan Swift, the author of “Gulliver’s Travels” (1726), was born in Dublin.

Nov. 30, 1707 – The second Siege of Pensacola came to end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Fla.

Nov. 30, 1765 – Scottish merchant and explorer George Glas was stabbed to death during a mutiny by Spanish and Portuguese members of the crew of the barque “Earl of Sandwich.” Glass was around 40 years old.

Nov. 30, 1776 - Admiral Richard Howe and General William Howe, “the King’s Commissioners for restoring Peace,” issued a proclamation from New York City, promising pardon to those who would within 60 days subscribe to a declaration that they would desist from “Treasonable Actings and Doings.” The Howes’ offer appealed to thousands of residents from downstate New York, who were willing to trade in their weapons for pardons. At the time, Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island were securely in British hands and would remain so until after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

Nov. 30, 1776 - General Charles Lee wrote a letter to General George Washington to report that he was about to cross into New York near Peekskill.

Nov. 30, 1781 – Scottish surgeon, merchant and explorer Alexander Berry was born at Hilltarvit Mains Farmhouse, Cupar, Fife, Scotland.

Nov. 30, 1782 – The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, and settling territorial claims of Great Britain and the United States of America. The Treaty of Paris established the southern boundary of the U.S. at the 31st parallel north. Great Britain would retain possession of the Floridas. These preliminary peace articles were later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

Nov. 30, 1811 – Capt. Matthew Arbuckle of the 3rd Regiment U.S. Infantry commanded a road construction party from Fort Stoddert that met a construction party working from the east to open the Federal Road to Georgia.

Nov. 30, 1818 – Autauga County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature and was formed from part of Montgomery County on Dec. 13, 1820. The town of Washington became the first county seat. Now bordered on the north by Chilton County, on the east by Elmore County and Montgomery County, on the south by Lowndes County and on the west by Dallas County. Named for Autauga Creek. Its county seats have been Washington, 1820-30; Kingston, 1830-68; and Prattville, the present county seat, chosen in 1868.

Nov. 30, 1835 - Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, was born in Florida, Mo.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, the “Trent Affair”, as it was beginning to be called on both sides of the Atlantic, was rapidly turning from a glorious triumph for the US Navy, particularly Captain Charles Wilkes of the USS San Jacinto, into a hideous embarrassment for the US diplomatic corps. On this day, the British Foreign Secretary, Lord John Russell, composed a letter to be sent to Lord Lyons, the minister (ambassador) to the United States. In it he directed Lyons to inform the American government that if the Confederate ministers Mason and Slidell were not released to British custody, and if an apology for their seizure from a British ship were not forthcoming, Lyon was to close the embassy and return to London with the entire legation.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Grand River, or Black Walnut Creek, near Sedalia, in Missouri.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near the mouth of Little Cacapon River in West Virginia.

Nov. 30, 1862 - Captain Raphael Semmes, Confederate States Navy, was the most feared commerce raider of the war. His mission was not to fight United States warships in combat, but to work what amounted to the flip side of the Union blockade of Southern shipping. He attacked any ship owned by an American, or headed for an American port, and seized it. He was extremely courteous by the standards of the day: he never killed the crews he captured, and in fact on many occasions would put everyone aboard the last ship captured for the day and turn it loose on bond, rather than burn it. He had wreaked as much havoc as he could in the waters of the North Atlantic, and besides it was getting cold and stormy there this time of year. He moved his base of operation to the Leeward Islands, and celebrated by taking the Porter Cook on this day. This one he burned.

Nov. 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Chulahoma and Waterford in Mississippi; and along the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi with the subsequent destruction of the steamer, New Moon.

Nov. 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, a seven-day Federal expedition from Rolla to the Ozark Mountains in Missouri began.

Nov. 30, 1863 - Gen. Braxton Bragg had been commander of the Army of Tennessee almost since its inception and the Army of Mississippi prior to that. His major triumph had been at the battle of Chickamauga, which had bottled up Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland in Chattanooga for a good long time. The breakthrough had finally come, though, and a few days ago the disaster at Missionary Ridge had been the final straw. He had submitted a letter to President Jefferson Davis asking to be relieved of command. His friendship with Davis was of many years standing, though, and perhaps he thought the request would be denied, as similar requests from Robert E. Lee had been. It was, however, accepted on this day, and Bragg was directed to turn over command to Gen. William Joseph Hardee.

Nov. 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Salyersville, Ky.; in vicinity of Port Hudson and Vermillion Bayou in Louisiana; at Charleston, New Madrid Bend and Yankeetown in Tennessee; along Mine Run and in the vicinity of Raccoon Ford in Virginia; and at Licking Run Bridge, Va.

Nov. 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal forces occupied Fort Esperanza, Matagorda Bay, Texas.

Nov. 30, 1863 – 59TH ALABAMA: The 59th Alabama served in Gracie’s brigade and Buckner’s division, Dept. of Eastern Tennessee. (Lewis Lavon Peacock was likely with the unit at this time.)

Nov. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War’s Battle of Franklin, the once proud Confederate Army of Tennessee, led by General John Bell Hood, suffered a devastating defeat after Hood ordered a dramatically unsuccessful frontal assault on Union positions commanded by John McAllister Schofield around Franklin, Tennessee, with Hood losing six of his finest generals and almost a third of his troops. Of 15,000 Union troops engaged, some 200 were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded. The Confederates had 23,000 men at Franklin; approximately 1,750 died and 5,500 were wounded or captured.

Nov. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Honey Hill, near Grahamville in South Carolina; at Thompson’s Station, Tenn.; at Snicker’s Gap, Va.; and at Kabletown, W.Va.

Nov. 30, 1865 - Alabama author A. B. Meek died in Columbus, Miss.

Nov. 30, 1873 – Scottish-Welsh surgeon, merchant and explorer Alexander Berry died at the age of 93 in Crows Nest House, New South Wales.

Nov. 30, 1874 – Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England.

Nov. 30, 1901 – English explorer and politician Edward John Eyre died at the age 86 in Yorkshire, England.

Nov. 30, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that Charlie Broughton, The Journal’s “faithful and efficient” composition and typesetting machine operator, was back at his post after having been laid up several days with tonsillitis.

Nov. 30, 1907 - Dr. W.A. Mason and family left Conecuh County, Ala. on this Saturday for their new home at Excel, Ala. “where the doctor (had) been enjoying a successful and lucrative practice for the past four months.”

Nov. 30, 1917 - Foreign Minister Richard Von Kuhlmann stood before the German Reichstag government to deliver a speech applauding the recent rise to power in Russia of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his radical socialist Bolshevik Party.

Nov. 30, 1921 - Alabama author Eugene Walter was born in Mobile, Ala.

Nov. 30, 1931 – Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh was born in Los Angeles, California. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Nov. 30, 1938 – The hog sale held in Monroeville on this Wednesday was “by far the best sale yet held.” At the sale, 775 hogs, weighing a total of 135,545 pounds, sold for $7,919.45 and 193 head of cattle sold for $2,632.52, making a total of $10,551.97. The Wilson Packing Co. of Columbus, Ga. bought all top-grade hogs and the cattle were sold to packing houses and individuals from over the county.

Nov. 30, 1950 – Army MSG Tellis Wayland Donaldson, 36, of Covington County, Ala. was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy near Kunu-ri, North Korean. A member of Battery C, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, he was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. His remains were apparently never recovered. Donaldson was awarded the Purple Heart, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. Born on April 6, 1914, a memorial for Donaldson can be found in the Mount Gilead Baptist Cemetery in Coffee County, Ala.

Nov. 30, 1953 – Award-winning writer Rheta Grimsley Johnson was born in Colquitt, Ga. She would later live in Monroeville, Ala. and work at The Monroe Journal newspaper.

Nov. 30, 1954 – At 2:46 p.m., a meteorite weighing 8-1/2 pounds crashed into Ann Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga as she rested on her living room couch. The meteorite crashed through the roof of her rented house, bounced off a console radio and struck her left hip and hand. Awakened by the pain and noise, she thought the gas space heater had exploded. When she noticed a grapefruit-sized rock lying on the floor and a ragged hole in the roof, she assumed children were the culprits. Her mother, Ida Franklin, rushed outside and saw only a black cloud in the sky. Alabamians in and around the area saw the event from a different perspective, with many reporting that they had seen a fireball in the sky and heard a tremendous explosion that produced a white or brownish cloud. Most assumed it involved an airplane accident. The event gave Hodges a severely bruised hip and instant celebrity status. She later became embroiled in a court battle with her landlord over ownership of the rock, which was eventually donated to a university, after being used as a doorstop. The meteorite, the first one known to have caused injury to a human, is housed at the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa. This is the only documented case in the Western Hemisphere of a human being hit by a rock from space.

Nov. 30, 1958 – Australian pilot, ornithologist, geographer and explorer Hubert Wilkins died at the age of 70 in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Nov. 30, 1960 – “All the Way Home,” a dramatic version of Alabama author James Agee's book “A Death in the Family,” opened on Broadway.

Nov. 30, 1961 – Four Conecuh County, Ala. high school basketball teams were scheduled to square off against each other in a “big doubleheader” at Evergreen High School’s Memorial Gym, beginning at 7 p.m. Evergreen High School, under Coach John Law Robinson, was scheduled to play Conecuh County High School, and that game was to be followed by a game between Lyeffion High School and Repton High School.

Nov. 30, 1962 - Football and baseball star, Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson was born in Bessemer, Ala. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 and was the first professional athlete to be named an all-star in two major sports.

Nov. 30, 1962 - W.C. Nichols of Excel, Ala. was re-elected president of the Monroe County Board of Education for a ninth year at a meeting in Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday. Tom W. Weatherford of Uriah was re-elected vice-president. Other board members were Dr. John L. Abbott of Monroeville, James C. Brooks of Megargel and S. Miller Fore of Beatrice.

Nov. 30, 1965 - Following a visit to South Vietnam, Defense Secretary McNamara reported in a memorandum to President Lyndon B. Johnson that the South Vietnamese government of Nguyen Cao Ky “is surviving, but not acquiring wide support or generating actions.”

Nov. 30, 1966 – A woman who wished to remain anonymous was changing a tire on a lonely stretch of Route 491 near Brooksville, Fla. when she became aware of an awful stench. She then heard a heavy crashing of brush, and she turned to see a large, hairy creature walking toward her. Moments later, the sound of an approaching vehicle caused the thing to turn and walk back into the woods.

Nov. 30, 1966 - “Dutch Christmas” entered by the Helen Keller Club won first place in the best float contest of the Evergreen Christmas parade on this Wednesday. “Christmas in Austria” by the Evergreen Study Club won second place. “Christmas Around the World” by Evergreen High School won third place.

Nov. 30, 1966 - In Saigon, the South Vietnamese Constituent Assembly began drawing up draft articles for a new constitution.

Nov. 30, 1967 - Liberal Democratic Senator Eugene J. McCarthy from Minnesota, an advocate of a negotiated end to the war in Vietnam, declared that he intended to enter several Democratic Presidential primaries in 1968.

Nov. 30, 1968 – Manager Harmon Gunter announced that an open house would be held at the new Steven Robert Corp. plant on Kendall Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Nov. 30, 1971 - ABC-TV aired "Brian's Song." The movie was about Chicago Bears' Brian Picolo and his friendship with Gale Sayers.

Nov. 30, 1972 – During the Vietnam War, White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler told the press that there would be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam because troop levels were now down to 27,000.

Nov. 30, 1982 – Michael Jackson's sixth solo studio album, “Thriller” was released worldwide. It will become the best-selling record album in history.

Nov. 30, 1983 – The National League of Cities Congress of Cities meeting began at the New Orleans Hilton Hotel, and Evergreen, Ala. Mayor Lee F. Smith attended as one of 20 voting delegates representing the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Nov. 30, 1983 – Evergreen, Alabama’s annual Christmas Parade was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Nov. 30, 1992 - The video "NFL Country," by various artists, was certified Gold by the RIAA.

Nov. 30, 1993 - The National Football League awarded the league's 30th franchise to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Nov. 30, 1995 – Operation Desert Storm officially ended.

Nov. 30, 1998 - Author and poet Margaret Walker passed away in Chicago, Ill. at the age of 83. Her mother’s relatives lived in Greenville, Ala. and she set a portion of her 1966 novel, “Jubilee,” in Greenville.

Nov. 30, 2005 - The White House released a document titled "Our National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." The document accompanied an address by U.S. President George Bush.

Nov. 30, 2011 - Evergreen weather observer Betty Ellis reported a low temperature of 29 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

Nov. 30, 2011 - A host of local court officials, friends and family were on hand to wish Pat Wright well as she closed out her career as an employee at the Conecuh County Courthouse. Wright, a resident of Evergreen, began working in the Conecuh County Circuit Clerk’s Office on Sept. 13, 1972 and she closed out her 39-year career with a retirement reception on this Wednesday. At the time of her retirement, Wright was in charge of administering civil cases in circuit and district court as well as small claims court cases.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Nov. 30, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  0.70 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 8.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 80.80 inches.

Notes: Today is the 334th day of 2017 and the 70th day of Fall. There are 31 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

John McDuffie of River Ridge, Ala.
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Nov. 29, 1917 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Mr. F.M. Turner who has been at the army post in Georgia is at home on a visit to relatives.

Recruiting officers will be in Pineapple Dec. 7 and 8 and in Camden Dec. 10, 11 and 12 for the purpose of obtaining recruits for the U.S. navy.

Friends of Lt. Dr. E.D. King Jr. formerly of Lower Peach Tree are gratified that he has been promoted to a major’s position.

Messrs. Sam Lee Jones, J.A. McClerkin, Dr. E. Bonner and Harris Matthews recently had a duck hunt in Hollis pond and killed four ducks.

The two-story brick building under the supervision of Mr. Powell is progressing finely.

Mr. Jodie Curry of Darlington grew on one vine 52 matured pumpkins that weighed 1,500 pounds.

Teachers Examination: The examination for license to teach will be held beginning Mon., Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. at the courthouse in Camden.

Mr. Tharp has been appointed master of trains of the Louisville & Nashville railroad to succeed Mr. Max Boykin who has been appointed assistant superintendent of the Mobile and New Orleans division of the L&N Railroad.

The most beautiful and elaborate wedding of the season was solemnized at high noon, Thurs., Nov. 22, at the First Presbyterian Church when Miss Pauline Alice Brown became the bridge of Mr. John Robert Gay of Selma, Rev. H.W. Wallace officiating.

Rural Carrier Examination: The United States Civil Service Commission has announced an examination for the county of Wilcox, to be held at Pine Hill and Nadawah on Jan. 12, 1918 to fill the position of Rural Carrier at Lower Peach Tree, Ala. and for vacancies that may occur later on rural routes from other post offices in the county.

Mr. C.D. Henson of Rosebud recently had a turnip that weighed seven pounds.

Mrs. John McDuffie and Mrs. Marion McDuffie of River Ridge recently visited in Selma.

Many wagon loads of prairie grown hay, also corn and velvet beans, are being brought for sale to Camden market.

Miss Lucy Monk returned home Friday from Camden where she has been the guest of Mrs. Burt Session. – Mobile Register.

Christmas is near and before we know it, it will be here. Remember our soldiers in the trenches and poor and needy that are with you.

Mr. J.T. Purifoy of Furman recently shipped two cars of shelled corn to Birmingham. This is a new industry for Wilcox County.

Miss Irene Davis, who is teaching at Capell, and Miss Powell, a teacher at Reaves Chapel, were recent visitors at the phone office in Camden.

There will be preaching at the A.R.P. Church next Sabbath at 11 a.m. Bible class Wednesday at three o’clock in the afternoon. – B.H. Grier. 

Wilcox County's McWilliams Cemetery recently added to Alabama Historic Cemetery Register

McWilliams Cemetery in Wilcox County, Ala.
The Alabama Historical Commission released its updated Alabama Historic Cemetery Register listings on Nov. 15, and I was pleased to read that another Wilcox County cemetery had been added to that prestigious list of historic cemeteries.

According to the historical commission, the McWilliams Cemetery at McWilliams was officially added to the state’s Historic Cemetery Register on Oct. 23. This register is the state’s official list of historic cemeteries in Alabama, and the commission considers historic cemeteries of this type particularly worthy of preservation and appreciation and therefore deserving of the special recognition of being placed on the register. The register is updated annually.

While reviewing the register, it occurred to me that I’d never actually been to the McWilliams Cemetery myself, so I took a little field trip to McWilliams on Wednesday morning. I couldn’t find directions to the cemetery before heading out, but I figured that I could ask someone for directions when I got to McWilliams, which is what I did. While easing down Holly Road in McWilliams, I came upon a young lady who was out walking with half a dozen dogs, and when I asked her where the cemetery was located, she gave me directions that were spot on.

She got me pointed in the right direction, and I took Holly Road on around to Cedar Street, hung a left and continued on to the stop sign at State Highway 21. From there, I could see across the blacktop a tall red brick column with a “McWilliams Cemetery” sign on top, marking the easy-to-miss entrance to the graveyard. I crossed the highway, drove past the brick column, continued down the short driveway to cemetery and parked outside the main gate.

I stepped out of the truck and stood there for a minute listening. There was a touch of fall chill in the air, but it was bright and sunny. A couple of crows passed overhead, headed north on some important errand, as I stepped inside the cemetery.

I spent the next half hour or so exploring the cemetery and found numerous graves that were well over a century old. The oldest grave that I found was that of George L. Lamkin, who passed away at the age of 32 on Feb. 4, 1860, about nine months before Abraham Lincoln was elected president for the first time. Visitors to the cemetery will also find a large Woodmen of the World monument near the main gate and several graves bearing Masonic symbols.

Visitors will also find several fluttering flags and military headstones that mark the graves of veterans buried within the confines of this historic cemetery. A survey of those graves showed men who’d served in the Confederate army as well as in World War II and Vietnam. In all likelihood, there are a number of other veterans buried in the cemetery without military markers.

Perhaps the most unique grave in the entire cemetery is the distinctive above-ground tomb containing the remains of Samuel F. Parker Sr. and Jennie M. Parker, who passed away five years apart in the 1930s. According to Sherry Johnston, a past president of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance, this unique type of grave is called a “double crypt.” The lid on this whitewashed tomb looked enormously heavy, and one is left to wonder why the Parkers chose this unique style of grave.

Not far from there is a large committal shelter, supported by 14 columns, containing a solitary, wooden pew. I stepped inside and noted that someone has taken steps to preserve this old structure by having concrete bases poured around the bottom of each column. The only other thing of note that I saw beneath this shady structure was a granddaddy longlegs, picking his way down one of the white posts, on his way to important matters elsewhere.

In the end, if you’d like to see this historic cemetery for yourself, it’s not hard to find. If you’re coming from Camden, take State Highway 10 east to Oak Hill, then cut south on State Highway 21. You’ll pass through Caledonia and as you enter McWilliams start looking for the 72-Mile marker. Just past this green and white marker, you’ll see on the west side of the highway a single brick column bearing the sign for the cemetery. The entrance to the cemetery is very close to the Wilcox-Monroe County line, so if you cross over into Monroe County, you’ll need to turn around because you’ve gone too far.

Today in History for Nov. 29, 2017

Thomas Charles Littles of Brewton, Ala.
Nov. 29, 1729 – Natchez Indians massacred 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi.

Nov. 29, 1775 - The Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, established a Committee of Secret Correspondence to provide European nations with a Patriot interpretation of events in Britain’s North American colonies, in the hope of soliciting aid for the American war effort.

Nov. 29, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia came to an end with the arrival of British reinforcements.

Nov. 29, 1781 – The crew of the British slave ship Zong murdered 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea to claim insurance.

Nov. 29, 1813 – During the War of 1812, the Battle of Autosse took place at the Indian village of Autosse, on the southern bank of the Tallapoosa River, 20 miles above its junction with the Coosa River in Alabama. The battle lasted about two hours and was won by an American force of about 950 Georgia militia led by American Brigadier General John Floyd and 400 friendly Creeks led by William McIntosh and the son of Mad Dog. During the rad, over 200 hostile Creeks were killed and 400 dwellings were destroyed at the cost to Floyd of 11 killed and 54 wounded.

Nov. 29, 1832 – Novelist Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pa. She is best remembered for her 1868 book, “Little Women.”

Nov. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Warner’s Ranch, southwest of Los Angeles, Calif.

Nov. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Confederate Legislature “accepted” the admission of Missouri into the Confederacy and ordered a star added to the flag in her honor, but in fact Missouri’s major cities and Mississippi River banks were firmly in control of the Union.

Nov. 29, 1862 - John Palmer and John Scholfield were promoted to major general for the Union army.

Nov. 29, 1862 - On this day during the Civil War, no less than 76 individuals were appointed Union brigadier generals.

Nov. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lumpkin's Mill, Miss. and at Berryville, Va. The first day of what would be two days of skirmishing was fought in the vicinity of Waterford, Miss. A skirmish was fought outside of Holly Springs, Miss., where Grant hoped to establish a supply depot to sustain his overland advance upon Vicksburg, Miss.

Nov. 29, 1862 – During the Civil war, the situation in Missouri was no nearer to resolution. The fighting ranged back and forth across the Arkansas border. On this day there was an engagement at either Cane Hill or Boston Mountains, Arkansas, depending on whose name you prefer. In this encounter, Union troops under James Blunt attacked Confederate forces under John Marmaduke. On this occasion, it was Marmaduke’s men who were driven back, losing quite a few men to wounding and capture.

Nov. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation from Stewart’s Ferry, on Stone’s River, to Baird’s Mills in Tennessee began. Multiple skirmishes also occurred during this operation.

Nov. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Parker's Store, Brentsville, New Hope Church and near Jonesville in Virginia. Multiple skirmishes were also fought along the Cumberland River in Kentucky.

Nov. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, an attack was carried out on Bloomfield, Mo., and Federals pursued Confederates to Brown’s Ferry, Ark.

Nov. 29, 1863 – 59TH ALABAMA: The 59th Alabama took part in the assaults at Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tenn.

Nov. 29, 1863 - The Confederate assault on Fort Sanders (or Fort Loudon,) Knoxville, Tenn., was repulsed.

Nov. 29, 1863 - Confederates evacuated Fort Esperanza in Matagorda Bay, Texas.

Nov. 29, 1863 - It was only three days since the Battle of Missionary Ridge had made the Union hold on Tennessee complete. The magnificent fighting force known as the Army of Tennessee, which had smashed the Union armies at Chickamauga and bottled them up in Chattanooga, had been left sitting ever since. Atop Missionary Ridge east of the city they had been given no orders to fortify properly, and when the attack came the cannon could not be properly aimed, and were swept away. On this day the man responsible for this sorry situation, Gen. Braxton Bragg, finally seemed to see where the problem lay--in his own hands. With this he wrote to Jefferson Davis asking to be relieved of command, and requesting “an investigation” into the causes of the defeat. This was tantamount to requesting his own court-martial.

Nov. 29, 1864 – In what is now known as the “Sand Creek Massacre,” Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacred at least 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants at Sand Creek inside the Colorado Territory. Nine of Chivington’s men were killed; 148 of Black Kettle’s followers were slaughtered, more than half of them women and children.

Nov. 29, 1864 – During the Battle of Spring Hill, a Confederate advance into Tennessee missed an opportunity to crush the Union Army. General John Bell Hood, who approached Franklin, Tenn. on this day, was angered, which led to the Battle of Franklin the following day when Hood attacked troops under John Scholfield.

Nov. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Charlestown, W.Va.; at Louisville, Ga.; at Doyal's Plantation, La.; near Boyd's Landing, S.C.; at Spring Hill, Thompson's Station, Columbia Ford, Mount Carmel and Rally Hill in Tennessee.

Nov. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, an attack was carried out on the steamer Alamo, on the Arkansas River, near Dardanelle, Ark.

Nov. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal operation from Warrensburg to the Greenton Valley in Missouri began.

Nov. 29, 1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph for the first time.

Nov. 29, 1890 - Navy defeated Army by a score of 24-0 in the first Army-Navy football game. The game was played at West Point, N.Y.

Nov. 29, 1898 – Novelist and Christian apologist Clive Staples “C.S.” Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland. A World War I veteran, he was also good friends with fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis is best known for his books, “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Nov. 29, 1902 - The New York Medical Record published an account of Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill performing the first open heart surgery in the western hemisphere when he sutured a knife wound in a young boy’s heart. Dr. Hill was the father of Alabama politician and U.S. senator Lister Hill.

Nov. 29, 1902 – The Pittsburgh Stars defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 11–0, at the Pittsburgh Coliseum, to win the first championship associated with an American national professional football league.

Nov. 29, 1914 - Mr. H.L. Dodson of Perdue Hill reported “the somewhat unusual incident of seeing a ‘belled buzzard’ flying over his place.”

Nov. 29, 1915 - The principal (Prof. Harris) and faculty of Monroe County High School hosted on this Monday Miss Sarah Luther, Conecuh County High School principal, and faculty, composed of Misses Skinner and Vaughn and Prof. Williams; and on Dec. 1, Prof. Claude Hardy, principal of the Wilcox County High School and Miss Palmer of the Alabama Girls’ School, Montevallo, visited MCHS.

Nov. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Lee Montgomery of Beatrice, Ala. “died from disease.”

Nov. 29, 1918 – Newberry Award-winning novelist Madeleine L’Engle was born in New York City. She is best known for her 1963 book, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Nov. 29, 1918 - Maude Fisher, a nurse in the American Red Cross during World War I, wrote a heartfelt letter to the mother of a young soldier named Richard Hogan to inform her of her son’s death in an army hospital.

Nov. 29, 1929 – U.S. Admiral Richard E. Byrd led the first expedition to fly over the South Pole.

Nov. 29, 1946 – Thomas Charles Littles was born in Brewton, Ala. He would be fatally wounded during the Vietnam War.

Nov. 29, 1947 – During the First Indochina War, French forces carried out a massacre at Mỹ Trạch, Vietnam.

Nov. 29, 1947 – The United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine, which had been under British control since 1917.

Nov. 29, 1961 – During Project Mercury’s Mercury-Atlas V Mission, Enos, a chimpanzee, was launched into space aboard the Mercury-Atlantis V. The spacecraft orbited the Earth twice and splashed down off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Nov. 29, 1961 – Conecuh County’s annual Christmas Carnival, which was sponsored by the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, was scheduled to be held on this Wednesday. The parade, which was to feature Santa Claus, was scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 29, 1962 - Major League Baseball decided to return to only one All-Star Game a year beginning in 1963.

Nov. 29, 1963 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Warren Commission, headed by Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Nov. 29, 1967 – Evergreen’s annual Christmas parade was held as part of Conecuh County’s annual Christmas Carnival.

Nov. 29, 1967 – During the Vietnam War, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced his resignation.

Nov. 29, 1968 - The Viet Cong High Command ordered an all-out attempt to smash the Phoenix program.

Nov. 29, 1971 – Birmingham, Ala. native Lee May was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Houston Astros.

Nov. 29, 1971 - The U.S. 23rd Division (Americal) ceased combat operations and began its withdrawal from South Vietnam.

Nov. 29, 1974 – Folklorist, writer and painter Ruby Pickens Tartt died in York, Ala. at the age of 94.

Nov. 29, 1974 – A public ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled to be held at the new Southtown Plaza Shopping Center in Monroeville, Ala. on this day after Thanksgiving. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the shopping center, which was located on the Highway 21 Bypass at Mayfield Street. The shopping center included a new TG&Y store.

Nov. 29, 1976 – NFL safety Chris Akins was born in Little Rock, Ark. He went on to play for Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers, the Cleveland Browns, the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.

Nov. 29, 1976 – Actress Anna Faris was born in Baltimore, Md.

Nov. 29, 1980 - "Monday Night Football" was on the cover of TV Guide.

Nov. 29, 1987 - Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers completed a record 22 consecutive passes.

Nov. 29, 1987 - Venice Glenn of the San Diego Chargers ran back an interception for 103 yards, setting a NFL record.

Nov. 29, 1990 - The United Nations Security Council authorized the use of "all means necessary" to remove Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait, giving Iraq the deadline of midnight on January 16, 1991, to leave or risk forcible removal.

Nov. 29, 1991 - The worst U.S. highway mishap took place in which a zero visibility dust storm caused 33 accidents, involving 164 vehicles near Kern County, Calif.

Nov. 29, 1992 - Dennis Byrd of the New York Jets was paralyzed after a neck injury in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nov. 29, 1992 - Jerry Rice caught his 100th NFL touchdown pass.

Nov. 29, 1995 - Hurricane Opal hit the Florida panhandle and Alabama. Nine people died.

Nov. 29, 1997 - Grambling State University football coach Eddie Robinson coached his last college football game as Grambling’s Tigers played the Southern University Jaguars at the Superdome in New Orleans. Southern won, 30-7. Robinson had been coaching at Grambling, a historically black college near Shreveport, for 55 seasons.

Nov. 29, 2011 - Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team beat Wilcox Academy, 59-47, on this Tuesday in Evergreen. Dylan Middleton led Sparta with a double double. He scored 17 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and stole the ball twice.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Nov. 29, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  0.70 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 8.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 80.80 inches.

Notes: Today is the 333rd day of 2017 and the 69th day of Fall. There are 32 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Nov. 28, 2017

Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois.
NOV. 25, 2010

Gideons International presented the Evergreen Police Department with complimentary copies of the New Testament Wednesday of last week at the Evergreen Fire Station. Individuals at the presentation included local Gideons Mike Lanier and Tom Hall and Evergreen Police Chief James Simpson, Detective Sean Klaetsch, Sgt. Shawn Sullivan, Lt. Wayne Stewart, Sgt. Tristan Robinson and Patrolman Adam Hawsey.

The smell of smoking pork filled the streets of downtown Evergreen Tuesday morning as members of the Evergreen Kiwanis Club prepared Boston Butts for one of the club’s two semi-annual fundraisers. Kiwanis Club members who were manning the smokers on Tuesday morning included Charles King, Mike Lanier and David Cook.

The annual membership meeting of the Conecuh County Cattlemen’s Association was held Sat., Nov. 13, at the Community Center in Lenox.
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of an appreciation certificate to Dr. Carl Wilson for the work he has done in Conecuh County and the State of Alabama to promote industry.

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 2.31 inches of rain on Nov. 15, 2010. He also reported a high temperature of 77 degrees on Nov. 21 and a low of 38 on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17.

NOV. 23, 1995

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported .07 inches of rain on Nov. 13, 1995 and Nov. 15, 1995. He reported a high of 70 on Nov. 19 and lows of 29 on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15.

The 1995 Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce, is set for Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Songs of Christmas.’

On Nov. 17, 1995, Vanity Fair Mills, Inc. announced the closing of its Monroeville, Ala. sewing plant on March 22, 1996 as a result of continued uncertainty in the market, competitive cost pressures and changes in product mix.

Mrs. Lawrence (Meta Jane) Green of Evergreen was recently honored with a party in recognition of her 99th birthday.

The 1995 ‘Angel Tree,’ sponsored by the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce, will be displaying its first 50 names on Dec. 1, 1995.
The 1994 ‘Angel Tree’ was successful with 102 Conecuh County children being sponsored.

Rose Gladwell and daughter Jackie Murphy, along with Alesia Stuart, Chamber Business Affairs, invite everyone to Open House on Thurs., Nov. 30, at the newly renovated Cope Flower Shop. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., visitors can peruse the wall to wall selection of Christmas items, ornaments, trees and one of a kind collector’s items.

NOV. 27, 1980

Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported .25 inches of rain on Nov. 17, 1980, .07 of an inch on Nov. 22 and 1.03 inches on Nov. 23. He reported a high of 69 on Nov. 17 and lows of 30 on Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.

Evergreen suffered its latest disastrous ‘downtown fire’ last Thursday. Wild Bros. True Value Hardware was ‘gutted’ and the vacant building adjoining it (former Bill’s Dollar Store location) was damaged heavily. David Salter’s Bargain Store was also damaged and Harper’s Furniture Co. and American Girl Fashions had water and smoke damages.
Cause of the fire is still undetermined and the State Fire Marshall’s staff is investigating.
The fire was discovered and reported at 5:42 p.m., less than an hour after most downtown businesses had closed. The blaze, which apparently started in the rear of the Wild Bros. Hdwe. Co. building, was raging when discovered and reported.
The fire endangered the entire block of West Front Street and other downtown areas, and firefighters from Monroeville, Brewton, Repton, Andalusia, Opp, Lyeffion, Burnt Corn, Peterman and Frisco City were called in to help control the ‘hot, hot’ fire.

The Magnolia Garden Club has recently completed a major portion of their beautification program with the completion of the fountain in the triangle. This is located at the intersection of Belleview Avenue and Liberty Hill Drive.

NOV. 25, 1965

Santa Claus coming to town Wednesday: Next Wed., Dec. 1, is the day.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Yes, Santa will be the big star of the Evergreen Jaycees’ annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival. He is flying in from the North Pole shortly after noon Wednesday to play the lead role in the big parade that is looked forward to by children (one year to 100) throughout this year.

Youths confess they stole nuts from principal: Two youths have admitted stealing between 600 and 700 pounds of pecans from their high school principal.
They stole the pecans from the garage of O.F. Frazier, principal of Conecuh County Training School where both boys are students.
The pecans were stolen at various times from Nov. 12 through Nov. 20. Sheriff James (Shorty) Brock, Deputies Mancil Pearce and Bill Kent and Evergreen Chief of Police John Andrews and his policemen cooperated in the investigation which was begun on Sunday.

Bob Kendall has been elected executive vice president of the Alabama Textile Manufacturers Association, Inc., effective Jan. 1, 1966, succeeding Dwight M. Wilhelm, recently retired.
Kendall is a native of Evergreen, attended Birmingham Southern College, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He was a member of the State Legislature – serving two terms in the House and two in the Senate.

NOV. 23, 1950

BEAUTIES – Pictured above are six of the eight young ladies competing for the titles of Queen Joy and Princess Gaiety in the Evergreen Jaycees’ first annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival. The contestants will ride in the carnival parade here Saturday afternoon at three o’clock and the queen and princess will be crowned on the bandstand in No Man’s Land after the parade. Voting in the contest is by money ballot with votes going to one-cent each. Don’t forget to get your votes in for your favorite before the contest closes at noon Saturday. The girls, you want to know the girls, are Louise Ward and Marilyn Salter of Lyeffion, and Alice Fay (Petie) Sulivan and Mary Helen Salter of Castleberry, Connie Douglas and Hortense Landon of Evergreen. Not shown are the Repton lovies, Lenora Pruitt and Bonnie Jean McDonald, who were not able to be present when the picture was taken.

The Evergreen Junior Chamber of Commerce and the merchants of Evergreen want you to be their guests Saturday at the first annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival in Evergreen.

Rheta Jones of Evergreen has been selected for membership in the Huntingdon College Choir.

First Lieutenant Albert H. Holman, son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Holman, Rt. E, Evergreen, has been given the command of the B36-3 Mobile Training Detachment from the Training Aids Wing with headquarters at Chanute AF Base, Illinois.

Today in History for Nov. 28, 2017

Col. Gilbert Christian Russell Sr.
Nov. 28, 1520 – After navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European ships to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Nov. 28, 1640 – Flemish captain and explorer Willem de Vlamingh was born in Oost-Vlieland.

Nov. 28, 1757 – Poet and artist William Blake was born in London.

Nov. 28, 1777 - After the judgment and loyalty of Silas Deane was called into question, Congress appointed John Adams to succeed Deane as the commissioner to France.

Nov. 28, 1805 – American archeologist and explorer John Lloyd Stephens was born in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization throughout Middle America and in the planning of the Panama railroad.

Nov. 28, 1813 – Col. Gilbert Christian Russell Sr., the 31-year-old commander at Mount Vernon, arrived at Fort Claiborne, with the Third Regiment of the U.S. Infantry. Born on May 18, 1782 in Abingdon, Washington County, Va., Russell passed away at the age of 78 on Jan. 23, 1861 in Mobile and was buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile. Russell County, Ala. was named in his honor. Russell was also responsible for getting his wife Margaret Hollinger Russell's uncle, David Moniac into West Point Military Academy, and he went on to become its first Native American graduate. Russell’s father was Battle of Kings Mountain, N.C., Capt. Andrew Russell Jr., of Augusta County, Va. His brother-in-law was U.S. Senator George Washington Owen, the Mayor of Mobile. As commanding officer of Ft. Pickering in Memphis, Russell investigated and reported on the death of his friend, Capt. Meriweather Lewis.

Nov. 28, 1814 – “The Times” newspaper in London was for the first time printed by automatic, steam-powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience.

Nov. 28, 1820 – Philosopher and writer Friedrich Engles was born in Barmen, Prussia (now Germany).

Nov. 28, 1861 – During the Civil War, Missouri was admitted as a member of the Confederate State of America.

Nov. 28, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at the confluence of the Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers in Mississippi; along the Carthage Road near Hartsville and Rome in Tennessee; and at Hartwood Church, Va. Multiple skirmishes were also fought in the vicinity of Holly Springs, Miss. as Federal forces built up supplies and munitions preparatory to their advance down central Mississippi along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad toward Vicksburg.

Nov. 28, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Chantilly to Snicker’s Ferry and Berryville in Virginia.

Nov. 28, 1862 – In the Battle of Cane Hill, Union troops under General John Blunt drove Confederates under General John Marmaduke back into the Boston Mountains in northwestern Arkansas. The battle was part of a Confederate attempt to push the Yankees back into Missouri and recapture ground lost during the Pea Ridge campaign of early 1862, when Union forces secured parts of northern Arkansas. The Yankees suffered 41 men killed or wounded, while the Confederates lost 45.

Nov. 28, 1863 - Confederate reinforcements arrived at Knoxville, Tennessee. Confederate General James Longstreet continued his siege in order to draw Union troops away from Chattanooga. Ultimately, Longstreet retreated back to Virginia.

Nov. 28, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Molino, Miss., on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad; and along Mine Run, Va.

Nov. 28, 1863 – During the Civil War, a 13-day Confederate cavalry operation began against the Memphis & Charleston Railroad in West Tennessee, under the command of Confederate Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Nov. 28, 1864 – During the Civil War, an 11-day Federal expedition from Brownsville to Fairview in Arkansas began; a five-day Federal expedition from Kernstown to Moorefield in West Virginia began; and a six-day Federal expedition from Winchester into Faquier and Loudoun Counties in Virginia began.

Nov. 28, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Buck Head Creek (or Reynold’s Plantation,) Davisborough and Waynesboro in Georgia; on Cow Creek, Kansas; and at Goresville, Stoney Creek Station, in Virginia. Multiple skirmishes were also fought at crossings of the Duck River in Tennessee. and at Shelbyville, Tenn.

Nov. 28, 1864 - The steamer Greyhound was heading up the James River from Bermuda Hundred, Va. It was the headquarters ship of Gen. Benjamin Butler, one of the most hated men in the Confederacy, and he had just taken aboard several other high Union commanders, including Adm. David D. Porter. After steaming five or six miles, the unexpected occurred. “The furnace door blew open,” Butler wrote, “and scattered coals throughout the room.” Porter suspected immediately the source: a Confederate “coal torpedo.” These metal devices were stuffed with explosive, then machined and painted to look like a lump of coal. Porter sounded almost envious when he said “In devices for blowing up vessels the Confederates were far ahead of us, putting Yankee ingenuity to shame.” Although no one was killed, and after managing to get ashore or to other ships, the Greyhound was destroyed.

Nov. 28, 1881 – In a letter to Alabama Gov. R.W. Cobb, Covington County Probate Judge Malachi Riley recommended Joseph Tarpley Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s father) for appointment as constable for Beat 12 (Red Level, Ala.) – apparently to fill a vacancy, since regular elections were held in August. He would be elected to the position on Jan. 9, 1882.

Nov. 28, 1888 – Thomasville, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality, according to the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Nov. 28, 1894 – Young Madison Rabb, the author of “The Early History of What is Known as the Evergreen Beat,” passed away in Brewton, Ala. at the age of 68. He was buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery.

Nov. 28, 1895 – The Monroe Journal announced the candidacy of and endorsed W.S. “Sam” Bowden for the office of Monroe County (Ala.) Sheriff.

Nov. 28, 1904 – Novelist, biographer and essayist Nancy Mitford was born in London.

Nov. 28, 1909 – Sergei Rachmaninoff made the debut performance of his Piano Concerto No. 3, considered to be one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire.

Nov. 28, 1910 – Brit Nelson allegedly murdered Manuel Rankin, who lived a short distance from Evergreen, Ala. A $100 reward was offered for Nelson’s capture.

Nov. 28, 1914 – During World War I, following a war-induced closure in July, the New York Stock Exchange re-opened for bond trading, after nearly four months, the longest stoppage in the exchange’s history.

Nov. 28, 1915 – On this Sunday afternoon, a sizeable crowd attended the dedication service at the “New Church” at Old Town. The Rev. J.G. Dickinson conducted a scripture reading and sermon, and the event also included singing and other music.

Nov. 28, 1925 – The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut when it began broadcasting on new radio station WSM in Nashville, Tenn. as the “WSM Barn Dance.”

Nov. 28, 1929 – Music producer Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown Records, was born in Detroit, Mich.

Nov. 28, 1929 - Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals set a NFL record when he scored 40 points in a game. He scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points.

Nov. 28, 1932 - The Monroe County High School Association met in Excel on this Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Moore was the leader of the program, and the subject was “Character Education Through Health.”

Nov. 28, 1932 - R.G. Bozeman and J. Lamar Kelly of Evergreen were business visitors to Monroeville on this Monday afternoon.

Nov. 28, 1942 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield was born in Warren Ohio. He would go on to play for the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

Nov. 28, 1944 – During World War II, PFC Edward C. Ballard, 22, of Belleville, Ala. was killed in action in Germany while serving with the 119th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. His father was Fred Ballard of Belleville. Born on Dec. 8, 1922, he was buried in the Oak Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Repton, Ala.

Nov. 28, 1944 – Novelist Rita Mae Brown was born in Hanover, Pa.

Nov. 28, 1946 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Jim Atwell of Panama City, Fla. attended the funeral of his cousin John Rountree last week. Atwell had last seen the Rountree family in October 1891 when he and his brother John Atwell walked over 100 miles from Houston County to Mt. Union in 3-1/2 days.

Nov. 28, 1947 – American journalist, novelist and poet Gustav Hasford was born in Russellville, Ala. His semi-autobiographical novel “The Short-Timers” (1979) was the basis of the film “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). He was also a United States Marine Corps veteran, who served during the Vietnam War.

Nov. 28, 1948 – NFL defensive end Vern Den Herder was born in Le Mars, Iowa. He would play for the Miami Dolphins from 1971 through 1982.

Nov. 28, 1948 - Dippy Evans of the Chicago Bears became the first NFL player to score two touchdowns on recovered fumbles in a game.

Nov. 28, 1948 – Astrophysicist and author Alan Lightman was born in Nashville.

Nov. 28, 1949 - Alabama author John Bensko was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Nov. 28, 1950 – During the Korean War, Marine PFC Carl Hubert Lloyd, 19, of Monroe County, Ala. was killed in action in North Korean and was listed as missing in action. Born on April 25, 1931, Lloyd was serving with Co. C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division when he was killed in action. His remains were not recovered. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Nov. 28, 1950 – During the Korean War, Army Cpl. Leonard Watson, 21, of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action while serving with the 560th Medial Ambulance Co. in Korea. Born on Sept. 7, 1929, he was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Brewton.

Nov. 28, 1950 – During the Korean War, Army PFC Joseph Dile Chancery, 20, of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action and his remains were not recovered. Born on June 26, 1930, Chancery was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. A memorial marker in Chancery’s memory can be found in the Lottie United Methodist Church Cemetery in Baldwin County.

Nov. 28, 1953 - New York City began 11 days without newspapers due to a strike of photoengravers.

Nov. 28, 1954 - Alabama author Lex Williford was born in El Paso, Texas.

Nov. 28, 1961 – Conecuh County High School, under Coach Wayne Pope, was scheduled to tip off the 1961-62 basketball season against T.R. Miller in Brewton, Ala. Returning lettermen on the team included senior Haskew Page and junior Henry Foster. Other players on the team included Larry Janes, Theo Ryals, Wayne Sims, Donnie Kast, Lester Warren, Dudley Jones and Thomas Shipp.

Nov. 28, 1962 – Comedian Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City.

Nov. 28, 1964 - The U.S. spacecraft Mariner 4 was launched on a flyby mission of Mars, providing the first ever close-up images of another planet. Many credit Mariner 4's images and data for altering the course of science fiction, shifting the home of intelligent aliens from Mars (or other planets in our solar system) to planets circling distant stars.

Nov. 28, 1964 – During the Vietnam War, National Security Council members agreed to recommend that U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson adopt a plan for a two-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam.

Nov. 28, 1965 – During the Vietnam War, in response to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson's call for "more flags" in Vietnam, Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos announced he would send troops to help fight in South Vietnam.

Nov. 28, 1968 – Alabama Highway Director Robert G. Kendall Jr. issued an advisory urging motorists not to travel on the unfinished sections of Interstate Highway 65 between Montgomery and Georgiana due to safety concerns and the presence of workers.

Nov. 28, 1969 – Excel High School won the 1A state football title by beating Sweet Water, 30-6, in Linden, Ala. Excel quarterback Jimmy Dale Dawson ran for two touchdowns and kicked two extra points. Tony Narrimore also ran for two touchdowns. Mike Ledkins and Danny Wiggins scored on PAT attempts each.

Nov. 28, 1974 – In Monroe Academy’s “fifth quarter” state championship win over Hooper Academy, three Vols scored touchdowns in the game – Ray Atkins, Keith Pugh and Fella Owens.

Nov. 28, 1977 – The newest addition to the McDonald’s fast food restaurant chain was officially opened in Monroeville, Ala. on this Monday with a special “money ribbon” cutting. Owners John and Nancy Rice of Monroeville reported that the 50 one-dollar bills that made up the ribbon were to be donated to the Monroe Activity Center. Officially cutting the ribbon were the Rices’ sons, Billy, Johnny and Kevin. Also there were Mr. Rice’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Rice Sr., County Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs, Monroeville Mayor B.C. Hornady and Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Harhai.

Nov. 28, 1980 – During the Iran–Iraq War’s Operation Morvarid, the bulk of the Iraqi Navy was destroyed by the Iranian Navy in the Persian Gulf. (Commemorated in Iran as Navy Day.)

Nov. 28, 1981 – Herman Regusters, an aerospace engineer from South Pasadena, and his wife Kia claimed to have seen and to have photographed a dinosaur-like animal in a remote African lake. Mrs. Regusters said that the gigantic reptile was a dark red with a long, thick neck, and longer than two hippopotamuses. Unfortunately, the photograph taken by the Regusters was rather fuzzy, and their tape recording of the “roaring trumpeting noise” heard frequently around Lake Tele was impossible to identify.

Nov. 28, 1989 – The Monroe County (Ala.) Commission, led by Commissioner Silas G. Tucker, proclaimed the week of Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 1989 as “Excel Panther Week” to mark the school’s participation in the 1A state championship football game.

Nov. 28, 2002 - LeAnne Rimes performed at the half time show at the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins Thanksgiving Day game.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Nov. 28, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  0.70 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 8.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 80.80 inches.

Notes: Today is the 332nd day of 2017 and the 68th day of Fall. There are 33 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Nov. 27, 2017

Auburn Coach Ralph 'Shug' Jordan
NOV. 25, 1999

Escaped convicts Kathy R. Jenkins of Mobile and Leslie M. Fillingim of Eight Mile pled guilty to the murder of former Evergreen resident Charles Kermit Branum Sr., Thursday, Nov. 18.
Branum was a former basketball and football coach of Evergreen High School during 1968-1980. From there, he spent several years coaching the University of South Alabama Lady Jaguars. Branum was found dead in his home in Tillman’s Corner on Jan. 19, 1999.

Sparta Academy plays host to Cottage Hill: The Sparta Lady Warriors were the only team to come out on top when Cottage Hill came to Sparta Thurs., Nov. 18.
Lady Warriors 41, Cottage Hill 29: Leading scorer for the Lady Warriors was Ashley Hammonds with 15 points. Also putting points on the board were Katie Etheridge with nine points and Mary Robinson with six points. Rounding out the scoring were Sally Hartley and Jessica Bennett with four points each. Jessica Armuelles two points and Laura Wiggins one point.
Cottage Hill 72, Warriors 45: Scoring in double figures for the Warriors were Jake Adams and Lee Booker with 11 points each and Kyle Johnston with 10 points. Rounding out the scoring were Justin Tranum with four points, Tyler Petrey three points, Derek Faulkner, Derrick Williams and Jimmy Hyde with two points each.
Cottage Hill 51, JV Warriors 20: Leading scorer for the JV Warriors was Chris Garner with 10 points. Also scoring for the JV Warriors were Wiley Cobb with seven points, Thomas Nielsen two points and Cole Commander one point.

NOV. 29, 1984

Mike Kline killed this fine turkey on Nov. 20. The turkey weighed 16-1/4 pounds and had a 10-3/4 inch beard and 1-1/2 inch spurs. Mike said it was his first turkey, and he killed the big bird while hunting deer.

Quarterback to honor ’84 Aggies: The Evergreen High School Quarterback Club will honor the 1984 Aggie Football Team at a football banquet. It will be held in the school cafeteria at 7:00 o’clock Saturday night, Dec. 8.
Tickets are $2.50 per person and may be obtained at the EHS office or from any member of the Quarterback Club.

From “The Colyum” by Bob Bozeman – It’s ‘Iron Bowl’ time. Auburn and Alabama meet Saturday in Birmingham’s Legion Field. The late Coach Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan is credited with labeling this season ending game as ‘The Iron Bowl.’
It will be Alabama’s only ‘bowl game’ as a losing season doesn’t earn bowl bids.
Auburn, favored Saturday, could play in the Sugar Bowl with a win Saturday. Even if they should be upset by Alabama, the Tigers will still go bowling.
Alabama set a national record that will probably stand for a long time by appearing in post-season bowls for 25 straight years. Further, the Tide had not had a losing season since 1957.

NOV. 27, 1969

These Evergreen High Varsity cagers will play their first home game of the 69-70 season Friday night, Dec. 5, against Red Level. They are John Earl Skipper, Larry Tranum, John Law Robinson, Charles Strong, Warren Stallworth and Larry Peacock, Jimmy Lee Perryman, Sammy Brown, Bob Jones, Ronald Halford, Richard Wilson and Coach Charles Branum.

Atmore bounces Aggies 60-50 in season opener: The Atmore Blue Devils combined strong rebounding and a ‘multitude’ of trips to the free throw line to hand the Evergreen Aggies of Coach Charles Branum their first basketball loss of the 1969-70 season. The game originally scheduled to be played in Evergreen was played in Atmore due to an inoperative clock at the EHS gym.
Senior John Earl Skipper led the Aggie scorers with 16 points. He was followed closely by play-making guard John Law Robinson and senior center Bob Jones with 13 and 10 points respectively. Senior forward Jimmy Lee Perryman hit for seven and Ronald Halford and Larry Tranum added two each to round out the Aggie scoring.
Coach Branum stated that ‘the team hustled and played well and with a little more game experience will be a winning ball club.’ Other Aggies not in the scoring column were junior center Sammy Brown, sophomore forward Richard Wilson, senior forward Charles Strong, junior guard Larry Peacock and junior guard Warren Stallworth.
In the preliminary game, the Atmore Bees stung the Aggie Bees with a 41-26 defeat. Freshman Johnny Andrews led the Aggies scorers with 13 points and Ronald Kervin pulled in 14 rebounds to shine a little light on the otherwise dismal evening for the Aggies.

NOV. 25, 1954

(Conecuh County Training School) Principal O.F. Frazier, along with the faculty, acknowledge with grateful appreciation the many services rendered by the alumni and interested persons toward making the homecoming parade an overwhelming success.
The parade seemed to have served as a stimulant to the many Eagles fans. Crowds of eager persons filled Brooks Stadium to its capacity to witness the struggle between the Eagles and the Booker Washington eleven of Pensacola, Fla. However, the powerful Booker Washington eleven defeated the Eagles by a score of 27-12.

A fired up Georgiana football team took the Evergreen Aggies by complete surprise with an upset 14-13 victory to end the season for both teams in Georgiana last Friday night.
Evergreen moved 79 yards for their first score in the initial quarter to go in front, 7-0. Ronnie Edson carried the final 10 yards for the score, and Frazier sneaked the extra point.
(Shortly after a Georgiana touchdown in the third quarter) Evergreen came right back to score on a touchdown by Alexander from two yards out. The play was set up on a pass from Alexander to Eugene Hyde who was downed at the Georgiana two after the play covered 49 yards. Frazier failed to make the point and that was the end of the scoring for the night.

NOV. 30, 1939

(Repton) practice basketball game in Excel on Wednesday night between Repton and Excel teams resulted in victory for Repton.