Moultrie Library Salutes Veterans
Published in the Atlanta Constitution 19 October 1998
Written by Celestine Sibley

Great news for families of veterans!

There is now a permanent place to record the life history and the war record of your relative who served honorably in any of our wars, going back to that one genteelly referred to as "the late unpleasantness," and beyond to the American Revolution. (Since I read about the bloodshed at Antietam, I know how puny and ladyfied that designation was.)

Catherine M Bryant, chairman of the Veterans History Project for the Odom Genealogy Library in Moultrie, wrote me a wonderful account of how some 1939 graduates of Moultrie High School raised $700 and gave it to the library to be used as a history project for local veterans; the project since has expanded to include veterans nationwide.

"When we  began our project," wrote Mrs. Bryant, "we had only a small corner in the genealogy library. It has grown so, we have just recently moved into an adjacent room (formerly an office). We have received veterans' history/genealogy as far back as the American Revolution."

She quoted the Marine who wrote me pointing out that World War I and II, Korean and some Vietnam veterans are "rapidly fading out." He strongly urged that they write for their families an account of their military history. The Moultrie group goes beyond that. It is glad to have families' histories, pictures, discharges and even mementoes they have collected through the years.

"We now have three display cases of things from several of the military branches," Miss Bryant wrote.

"The project has delighted and overwhelmed us, as well as humbled us. We feel that our veterans who have fought for our freedoms through the years deserve a place of honor in our genealogy collection. In the four years since beginning this volunteer project, we have several thousand listings."

Melody Jenkins, director of the genealogy library, added that all records and pictures sent to them must be identified and that the project is open to all veterans, men and women and will be "ongoing." All gifts, as well as the records of veterans, are welcome.

The address is Veterans History Project, Odom Genealogy Library, Box 2828, Moultrie, GA 31768.

The opportunity of getting down to Moultrie and seeing this fine collection is not easy to come by. I haven't been to Moultrie for any length of time since I used to cover tobacco markets.

But I have an idea of what a pleasure it is to inspect the war collection because I had a couple of hours at Emory University library's special collections department recently.

If you haven't seen that, you should make a date with the archivists to let you in. The Joel Chandler collection ahs some real treasures --bust and portraits    of the old editor-author himself and things that meant a lot to him, including some charming little medallion pictures of his granddaughters. The Ralph McGill collection is nearby, and we dipped into that for a few moments.

One thing Mr. Harris had that all us Civil War buffs will covet is a picture of Jefferson Davis - if you look head-on. Move to the side and look, and the picture becomes Stonewall Jackson.

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