CORRECTION: Due to a source error this story initially contained incorrect information. Two Revolutionary War era graves recently located by the Sons of the American Revolution were previously known and maintained by local ancestors and historical groups in the area. The graves were unknown only to the regional Sons of the American Revolution chapter.
Three local Sons of the American Revolution chapters will hold a ceremony on Oct. 3, dedicating the grave markers for two soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War, which were recently discovered by the group in Dawson County.
Event organizer Emil Decker said that the two graves were unknown to the Sons of the American Revolution until now, when the group managed to track them down to two separate locations in Dawson County.
“We had records of them in our patriot files,” Decker said. “Once we knew where to narrow the search, it was just a little hunting to find them. Those in maintained cemeteries are always easier to locate; the private family graves are harder.”
The two graves belong to Edmund Singleton and Solomon Palmour, both of whom were Revolutionary War soldiers who served honorably, according to Decker.
Singleton’s marker was located in the Bethel United Methodist Church cemetery off Lumpkin Camp Ground Road in Dawsonville. While Singleton’s marker is in the current cemetery, Decker said that the actual burial site for Singleton is most likely in a field behind the local Home Depot, which was the original cemetery site for the church and holds approximately 90 unmarked graves.
Singleton was born in 1755 in Amelia County, Va., according to Decker.
“He joined the Continental Army at the Amelia Co. Courthouse in the summer of 1776,” Decker said. “He was mustered into the first regiment of the continental light dragoons mounted regiment and saw action at the battles of Strawberry Hill and Monmouth.”
The second gravesite, commemorating Solomon Palmour, is in the McClure-Palmer Cemetery, on private property owned by a local family. Palmour served with New York State troops as a member of the Continental Line, according to Decker.
“Solomon was in the Revolutionary War and listed on the Certified List of Georgia Troops from Wilkes County, vouched for by Col. Elijah Clarke, and entitled to a bounty of 250 acres of good land, free from taxes for 10 years,” Decker said.
The two graves, while unknown to the Sons of the American Revolution, have been known to descendants of Palmour and Singleton for a long time and were recently tracked down and cleaned by members of the Dawson County Historical and Genealogical Society, according to Historical Society member Pat Floyd and Vice President Carol Dooley.
"We did not find them; they were there all the time with members of their family knowing all about them," Floyd said. "Carol was going to clean them, so we started looking for them and getting an okay to clean them."
Dooley and Floyd were able to track down the graves with the help of books and logs of where historical graves in the county are located, and Dooley was able to gain permission to clean the gravestones.
"When I began looking for graves of soldiers it was to hopefully gain permission to clean them," Dooley said. "Pat went through the cemetery book and sent the info to me so hopefully I could find descendants to gain permission."
Both Singleton and Palmour will be honored in a dedication ceremony by the Sons of the American Revolution on Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Bethel United Methodist Church cemetery.
According to Decker, the ceremony will serve to honor the two men and to officially mark their graves. Singleton’s marker will be placed at his gravesite immediately after the dedication ceremony.
“We generally start with a Color Guard bearing flags, pledge of allegiance, posting the colors, welcome and greetings from major officers within the organizations participating, and presentation of wreaths, in which participants come forward and bow or salute the wreath in honor of the warriors,” Decker said. “A stone marker that will be placed at the gravesite will be dedicated, the militia will fire a 3 round volley from their flintlock muskets and Taps will be played.”
The ceremony will be one of many that the Sons of the American Revolution organization has held to honor Revolutionary War soldiers throughout the country.
“One of the things we do, when we find them, is to honor and mark graves of American Revolutionary patriots,” Decker said. “Over the years we have marked many graves, but there are so many more just waiting for someone to find them.”
For Sons of the American Revolution, which is a non-profit and non-partisan organization, these ceremonies are a way to not let the past be forgotten, according to Decker.
“SAR is dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and promoting education to our future generations,” Decker said. “SAR is very active in supporting active-duty military personnel and assisting veterans as well. We proudly assist classrooms with living history interpreters, lesson planning materials and reenactment events for school-aged youth to attend.”
Anyone is welcome to attend the dedication ceremony on Oct. 3, according to Decker.
“We know the COVID thing is really smashing this year’s event,” Decker said. “We will be holding the event at the Lumpkin Campground pavilion, where there is plenty of space for folks interested in attending to spread out. We also hope to make a YouTube video to share later.”