2013-10-03 / Local & State

Parade, Award Ceremony To Honor Civil War Hero In Hancock

Events to take place Oct. 12

The town of Hancock, Md., will be the scene of a significant historical event on Saturday, October 12, 2013, with a military parade honoring Maj. James Breathed, a Civil War hero buried in Hancock, who has been awarded the Confederate Medal of Honor.

James Breathed was a young doctor born in Virginia and raised in Maryland who chose to battle for the Confederate cause. He is only the 48th person to receive the Confederate Medal of Honor, recognized posthumously for his gallantry, leadership and courage above and beyond the call of duty. After the war, he resumed his medical practice and tended to the needs of all people regardless of which side they supported during the tragic war.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. and marches down Main Street past the Breathed Memorial Park to St. Thomas Episcopal Church where James Breathed is buried. In a brief ceremony at his grave site, the Confederate Medal of Honor will be presented and remembrance shots will be fired over the Potomac River from the actual horse artillery cannon that was under Breathed’s command during the war.

Immediately after the ceremony, everyone in Hancock and all visitors are invited to the Parish Hall of St. Thomas Church, 2 E. High Street, for refreshments and to chat with historian and author David P. Bridges, who will be signing his new historical novel about Maj. Breathed, “The Broken Circle,” as well as his earlier biography of Breathed, “Fighting With JEB Stuart, Major James Breathed and the Confederate Horse Artillery.” Author Bridges is a descendant of Breathed and of the prominent Bridges family that founded the sand mines in Berkeley Springs and brought global renown to the Woodmont Rod and Gun Club in Hancock. Bridges chronicled his family’s history in his book, “The Bridges of Washington County.”

Events schedule

1 p.m. – Military parade down Main Street with bagpiper, 10 Maryland Color Guard, General Early, Capt. P. P. Johnston leading 6 artillerymen, 25 men marching, two guns above Breathed’s grave, one a bronze Napoleon and Breathed’s actual 3-inch rifled cannon.

1:40 p.m. – Ceremony bestowing the Confederate Medal of Honor on Dr. James Breathed. Waite Rawls, CEO of the Confederate Museum in Richmond, Va., will unveil the medal and say a few words at the grave. The greatgreat grandson of Capt. P. P. Johnston, John Pelham Johnston, will read at the gravesite.

2:30 to 5:30 p.m. – David Bridges, the great-great nephew of Dr. James Breathed, will sign his new historical novel on Breathed.

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