10/07/2010: Thanks to an anonymous contributor for sharing his ghostly encounter while spending an evening at Champ Chase Confederate Cemetery in Franklin County. As he and the 5th Texas regiment re-enactors were preparing camp for an overnight stay, they witnessed ghostly Confederate soldiers dancing to their music. The re-enactors’ commanding officer tipped a cup to them and saluted. Minutes later when the music stopped, the ghostly soldiers had disappeared into the night.
A few years ago, I spent a late evening with 15 members of the Confederate Civil War re-enactors from the 5th Texas regiment. Two soldiers who served with the 5th Texas during the Civil War are buried in Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery. While they set up camp to spend the night at Camp Chase for the next day’s memorial event, a few members found the grave markers of the two soldiers, who are buried side-by-side, located in the southwest corner of the cemetery and held a small silent vigil over the graves to honor these long lost “brethren.”
It was later in the night, approximately 10:00 PM, that we were sitting in front of the small shelter house/stage that is located on the north wall of the cemetery. One member had gotten his fiddle, and another had a banjo, and they began to play music while the rest of us sat on the ground in a small circle and listened and sometimes sang along. It was during this time of entertainment that I noticed a member to my right doing a count of the number of us in the circle, and then glance toward the southwest corner of the cemetery. He did this twice, when I then looked toward the direction of the cemetery he kept looking at. I also noticed that everyone else had started to look that direction as well.
While the two played the fiddle and banjo, what song it was I can’t remember, we ALL witnessed two soldiers in Confederate uniforms, locked arm-in-arm and swinging each other in a circle while kicking their legs up and having a grand time. They were also keeping time to the music. At this point, the Major in command of the re-enactors lifted a tin cup of coffee and saluted the pair and yelled in their direction, “This is for you boys! Here’s to ya!” Then turning to us he said, “Let them have their fun men, they deserve it!.”
It was a few minutes later that the music stopped, and the soldiers in the corner disappeared into the night. I can assuredly say, they were NOT with the 5th Texas re-enactors group. All the men in attendance that night knew each other, and they had no idea where these soldiers came from. However, we did agree not to dwell on the incident, nor “brag” about what we witnessed and experienced that night. Hence why I am sharing this experience now, several years later. I honored my part of the agreement by waiting until now to share my story.