Contributed by: David L. Wright
Confederate General Service CSA button backmarked R. *F. Wilson, **Winston, NC listed
in Confederate Arms by William A. Albaugh III and Edward Simmons as being given by
Major Wilson to his friends. The button shank has been replaced for use as a stickpin.
The buttons were usually mounted on a small card showing a Confederate Flag and the
following vow by Major Wilson***:
“If I ever disown, repudiate, or apologize for the cause for which Lee fought and Jackson
died, Let the lightnings of heaven rend me, and the scorn of all good men and true women
be my portion, Sun, Moon, Stars all fall on me, When I cease to love the Confederacy,
Tis the cause, not the fate of the cause which is glorious.”
Reuben Everette Wilson, born 12/30/1840, enlisted on 5/12/1861 in Yadkin County, NC
as a 2nd Lieut. in Company B, 21st North Carolina Infantry. He was promoted to 1st
Lieut. and transferred to Company A, 1st Battalion of NC Sharpshooters on 4/26/1862.
Rising through the ranks to Major, he was wounded at Cedar Mountain and Hazel River,
before losing his left leg to an artillery shell at Petersburg on 4/2/1865. Major Wilson
died 3/8/1907. He is buried in Bitting Plot, Salem Cemetery, NC. Today that is Winston-Salem.
*The middle initial apparently was stamped F instead of E by the button manufacturer.
** Present day Winston-Salem.
***Verbatim quote from The Lanyard, Volume XIV, No. 5, page 2.
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