Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Georgia Veteran's Show-Biz Uniform

William “Uncle Josh” Bush was reportedly Georgia’s last remaining Confederate veteran when he died, at age 107, in 1952. (According to friends, Bush “fought as a 16-year-old infantryman” in the Civil War.) Georgia state officials planned his funeral in Fitzgerald on November 14.

In Atlanta, Governor Herman Talmadge lowered the state flag to half staff over the capitol and ordered that the blue flag of the Confederacy fly over the Confederate soldiers’ home and at Five Points. (Rich’s Department Store flew Confederate battle flags from all its windows.)

The only uniform available for Uncle Josh to wear at his funeral was one given him some time before by a motion picture production company, a uniform the 107-year-old man wore to promote the movie. So when William “Uncle Josh” Bush’s remains were laid out at the front of First Baptist Church, he was wearing a gilded, tasseled outfit with satin scarf and cavalry hat. An ornamental sword (which appeared to some mourners to be made of gilded tin) was clutched in his hands.

Uncle Josh’s burial outfit was an exact replica, according to the movie’s promotion man, of an outfit General Lee himself had worn.

(See Palm Beach Post, November 13, 1952)

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