FlowerFest 2016: On To Robertville 

We had too many grave sites to visit to get it all done in one day. For the second year in a row, the FlowerFest needs two weekends.

Sugar and I headed for Robertville.

It was a quiet Sunday, and we thought we’d arrive after church had let out, and all had gone home. Not today, a few cars were still parked at the church.

This is a private time for us, this FlowerFesting gig, even though I photograph and write about it. Sugar is very serious about the ritual. You can probably see how intense he is when he marches across each cemetery, and places each plant *just so*, and tweaks the placement of each pot.

He didn’t want to hang about, so he hustled to get the job done. He can be so hustle-y, I can’t catch up.

So I just zoom in, camera-wise.

We found that last year’s poinsettia pot was still on the ground.

I stopped to photograph Edward Payson Lawton’s marker. He was killed at Fredericksburg.

I’ve been listening to Irish music on Pandora. One song in particular, “Clear the Way”, has a line that always gives me chills.

At Fredericksburg, we rose to meet them,

Though we knew the price we’d pay….

The song is sung from the viewpoint of a man who served with the Irish brigade for the Union.

In the cold grey light of morning,

after the deal had gone down,

I awoke and shook all over –

hoping a dram would bring me round.
Well, I stared at the sight all around me;

busted blue and faded grey.

Men in heaps were scattered;

men who fought and died the other day.
Well, I lived my youth in Connemara,

roving from town to town.

I shipped on board of the Amelia,

to New York City I was bound.
Not for honor, nor for country;

we killed for three square meals a day.

Off the boat and pack on shoulder,

gun in hand we’re here to stay.

At Fredericksburg we rose to meet them,

though we knew the price we’d pay.

But the Irish Brigade will not surrender –

Fag an bealach! Clear the way!
General Meagher, he gave the order,

”Up Mary’s Heights, charge away.”

The hills were rife with blood and murder

as we gouged and tore our way.
McMillan’s rebels, they fired upon us –

shot and shell, buck and ball.

Their green flag rose high above them

as ours fell on the battle wall.
Well, hand to hand and face to face there

a young rebel he charged me in the fray.

I turned around and my blade went through him;

I did the devil’s work that day.
For I saw my face there before me

in the boy that I hew down.

He could have been a friend or brother;

another exile from my town.
Three thousand strong rose to fight them

in Antietam’s ripening corn,

but Fredericksburg was our undoing.

Three hundred left to weep and mourn.


Sadly, our FlowerFest is almost over. We head over to the Robert Cemetery, near Mulberry Grove Plantation, to finish the job.

Elizabeth Dixon Robert and John Robert.

That’s our Christmas FlowerFest 2016! We’ll see you in 2017!



10 Responses to “FlowerFest 2016: On To Robertville ”

  1. Audrey Bateson Says:

    Very poignant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      We’ve met one of Edward Payson Lawton’s descendants, and she said that her grandmother talked about his widow, who was known as Loyer. They pronounced it “LOW-yuh”.


  2. owltreegal Says:

    Ruth, have you ever been to Andersonville? I lately found out I have a ggggrandfather buried there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. owltreegal Says:

    I really do want to go. I may have another relative there, but not sure yet. I’ve read that it’s really eerie.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. candidkay Says:

    I’m new to your blog–this seems like a wonderful ritual but enlighten me. Do you visit graves of relatives/friends?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bobbi Karsteter Says:

    Hello.You have a fantastic blog and y’all take beautiful pics. Please tell me you have submitted them to findagrave. If not,please think about it.
    I just found you today.I haven’t had time to read much.
    By the way,I must be related to Sugar.I have Grimballs,Jaudons and Roberts up my tree.
    You must have explained Sugar’s ancestry,but could you tell me briefly who he belongs? I will gladly tell you my side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      Hello, Bobbi, and welcome to the blog! I’ve been a member of findagrave for 14 years, 8 months, and 20 days!
      Sugar is descended from Captain William Lawton and his 3rd wife Mary Stone Grimball Lawton Fickling.
      Thank you for commenting! Enjoy the blog!


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