May 24, 2014 at 10:30, the SCV group gathered at Clifton Cemetery up Highway 19 in Thayer, MO. The Forester Family came from near and far to accept the headstone for PVT Elijah Forester who served in Company A of the 15th Missouri Cavalry.
The SCV held a ceremony led by Mike Walters with the Chaplain playing harmonica tunes and prayers. But the real story was the behind the scenes work that went into getting this project done. It was years in the making. The SCV provides marble headstones for Civil War Soldiers if none exist. The Oregon County History Club partnered with the SCV group for honoring the warriors who died in the Civil War.
A moving part of the ceremony was when the widow (properly veiled to shield her grief) surrogate laid flowers at the growth. Two women wore colorful outfits from the area. Sue Walters of West Plains, MO makes Custom Historical Outfits for Re-Enactors shown at www.suesoldfashions.com.
Oregon County was at the wrong place at the wrong time during the Civil War. Neither the North nor the South claimed the area and both thought it belonged to the other. Battles were fought by both sides. Locals had to hide to keep from getting killed. Some left the area for years before they returned. Oregon County records were stored in a cave with directions given to a young boy to retrieve them if no adults survived.