The Virginia Flaggers are pleased to announce the latest release in a series of profiles of Confederate Veterans with connections to the Old Soldiers' Home, on the grounds of Confederate Memorial Park in Richmond, VA.
For over nearly four years, the Virginia Flaggers have forwarded the colors, twice a week, on the sidewalk outside of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) after museum officials forced the removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel.
One cannot truly appreciate the history and significance of the Chapel, nor the degree of desecration committed when museum leadership, driven by their own misguided prejudice and ignorance, removed the flags, without knowing the (personal) stories of the men who built the Chapel, worshiped in it every Sunday, and gathered each time the bell tolled, to pay their respects to and honor their comrades, as one by one, the Veterans passed over to eternity.
For many of our Flaggers, this fight is about more than just defending our Heritage against yet another unwarranted and unprovoked attack. For those whose veins course with the blood of the men who actually had a connection to the Old Soldiers'Home, it is personal:
Richard J. Elam was born in 1848 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, and grew up on the family plantation in the Skinquarter section of that county.Â On May 24, 1861, at the tender age of 12 years old, he joined the Confederate Army along with his older cousin Joseph A. Elam. He was mustered into the 6th Virginia Infantry's Co. K (the "Alstadt Grays," "Alstadt" being German for "Old Town").
Richard's muster roll cards say he was 18 at the time, but, like many other recruits before and since the War Between the States, he likely lied about his age so he could join. It is worth noting that since the Elams were neighbors of the family of 6th VA Captain E.H. Flournoy, Richard's fellow soldiers probably knew about his age.
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