Metter's Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #1942, "The Dixie Guards" held a family picnic at George L. Smith state park near Twin City on Saturday, 13 July 2002. A crowd of about 200 SCV members, their families and guests gathered for the potluck picnic. Other groups of park visitors joined the throngs to see a large group of historical reenactors display Confederate artillery and infantry techniques.
The picnic was billed as "a celebration of southern history and hospitality" by Georgia Division SCV commander Jack Bridwell who came from Moultrie Georgia to join the festivities. Reenactors from Statesboro, Rincon, Augusta and Savannah were on hand to provide entertainment and information. Living historian Steve Burke displayed his "Sherman's March to the Sea" maps and murals.
Food was lavishly arrayed on a 50-foot row of tables and featured southern delicacies of all descriptions. Before the meal was served, the crowd reverently observed the presentation of the Colors, which was solemnly presented by a 12-member color guard and drummer. Dixie Guards color sergeant Ben Franklin led the crowd in the pledges to the U.S. flag, the Georgia flag and the Confederate flag. Chaplain Grady Franklin offered the blessing. The meal was served with ladies and children going first, followed by gentlemen and special guests.
After the meal, the crowd was thrilled by reenactors who demonstrated infantry weapons with several volleys of musket fire. Two artillery crews with cannons also amazed the crowd with three rounds of fire from their heavy weapons. Each round of firing was followed by cheers and "rebel yells" from the gathering of onlookers. The infantry reenactors also presented a mock "skirmish" between Confederate infantrymen and a Union picket.
The picnic was concluded by remarks from special guests SCV Ga. Division Commander Bridwell, Southern Division Commander Rooney Kea, Brigade Commander David Moncus, Brigade Commander Don Newman and reenactor Tommy Wallace of the Tattnall Invincibles.
Former Commander Mike Mull of Statesboro offered special birthday wishes and a song for the children in the crowd who celebrated recent birthdays. A drawing was held for a framed print of artist Mort Kunstler, which was won by Charles Holland Sr.
Dixie Guards Commander Randy Crooms gave final closing remarks and reminded Dixie Guards members to turn in their BBQ ticket sales to Jason West by July 29th 2002.