Elijah Gates fall muster to honor late Civil War enthusiast

The late James Harrison presents Billy Dillingham, 9, a certificate of appreciation for his service as mascot to the Elijah Gates Camp Color Guard during the group’s annual Fall Muster in November 2010. This year’s muster, to be held on Oct. 8 at the Callaway Electric Cooperative, will include a tribute to Harrison, who died in July.

The late James Harrison presents Billy Dillingham, 9, a certificate of appreciation for his service as mascot to the Elijah Gates Camp Color Guard during the group’s annual Fall Muster in November 2010. This year’s muster, to be held on Oct. 8 at the Callaway Electric Cooperative, will include a tribute to Harrison, who died in July. (Contributed photo)

There were few members of the Elijah Gates Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans who were as enthusiastic as the late James O. Harrison.

As they mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the 15th anniversary of their camp’s founding at their annual Fall Muster on Oct. 8, Elijah Gates members also will pay tribute to Harrison, who passed away in July at the age of 70.

“He was a longtime member and the head of our color guard; it was kind of a blow to us,” said treasurer Wayne Sampson. “We’re just going to do a remembrance ceremony where some people might tell a few stories about him.”

Commander Martin Northway described Harrison as “awfully active.”

“He was quite dedicated to the Elijah Gates Camp and was an avid student of Little Dixie culture in Missouri, particularly of saddlebred horses,” Northway said. “He was a very gifted living history teacher of all those things, and he was at all the events we sponsored and made appearances at fairs and horse shows.”

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