Private Henry Ellis Thain
Co. A, 1st North Carolina Light Artillery
Manly's Battery, Army of Northern Virginia
Confederate Medal of Honor Ceremony 12 July 2008
Salem Missionary Baptist Church
Welcome, Introductions, Music, Eulogy
LARGE CROWD ATTENDS LOCAL CONFEDERATE MEDAL OF HONOR CEREMONY
by Hu Daughtry (As appeared in the Metter Advertiser 16 July 08)
Over 200 people battled the mid-July heat to pay tribute to Private Henry Ellis Thain, the most recent recipient of The Confederate Medal Of Honor. Among those in attendance were Confederate Re-Enactors, Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Dignitaries, descendants of Private Thain, and others who were just interested in “A Saturday Afternoon History Lesson.” This event was both sponsored and conducted by The Dixie Guards, the local Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Camp here in Metter.
As the six Napoleons (12 Pound Artillery Pieces) thundered and boomed in a vociferous salute to Private Thain, the windows of Old Salem Church were literally “rattled out!” As Henry Thain and several members of his immediate family are interred at Old Salem, the ceremony was conducted there.
The ceremony commenced at 4:00 PM. Adjutant Tony Thompson welcomed everyone, while Chaplain Rhett Kelley performed the invocation. Color Sergeant Harvey Lively led the pledges to the various flags and completed his part on the program by reading The Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Charge.
Hu Daughtry recognized several special Thain descendants in attendance and also other special guests who were there. He also acknowledged Compatriot Sonny Morgan who generously donated the 215 programs which were handed out during this special service. Additionally, Sonny also put up four tents which shielded the spectators from that “Harsh Georgia Sun.” Furthermore, the Coca Cola Company in Statesboro also did more than their part in saluting Private Thain by donating enough of their products and cups for 250 thirsty people.
Special music was provided by "The Thompson Girls"; the highly-talented daughters of Adjutant Tony Thompson. Local band Danny Rewis and Friends were perhaps the highlight of the show; they performed 1860’s tunes for nearly 45 minutes! It was, indeed, a trip back in time – in many ways.
Camp Historian Ted Lewis then gave a brief history of Private Thain’s Outfit. Manly’s Battery, or Company A of The First North Carolina Light Artillery, was a viable and indispensable part of Lee’s Army Of Northern Virginia. Henry and the other members of his battery never formally surrendered. Hence, neither were they paroled.
1st. Lt. Commander Hu Daughtry delivered a rather-intriguing eulogy for Henry Thain. In addition to a brief synopsis of the life and times of Henry Thain, he shared some interesting morsels of Thain Genealogy with the crowd. Although born in Hudson, New York, Henry spent the final 25 years of his life down here in what is now The Candler County area. His magnanimous and heroic deed occurred on the third and final day of Gettysburg. The date was July 3rd, 1863. On that day he saved the lives of perhaps every man in his company by defusing a shell which had become accidentally ignited.
The Medal was presented by 4th Brigade Commander Kim Beck. It will be proudly displayed in The Genealogy Room of The L. C. Anderson Memorial Library, here in Metter.
Confederate Battle Flags were presented to Mendes Thain, Willie Harold Thain, and Ed Thain. Mendes and Willie Harold are grandsons of Henry Thain.
Following the 2 hour and 10 minute ceremony, a reception was held at the home of Ted Lewis. This handsome old wooden abode is where Henry met Death – in March of 1917.
There were also approximately 40 Reenactors in attendance. The Dixie Guards would like to express their sincere gratitude to each and every one who helped make this special occasion a huge success!