Cleburne, Texas Celebrates
Patrick Cleburne's Birthday

Cleburne, Texas celebrated its 4th annual Patrick Cleburne birthday party on March 17-18. I represented the PCS, and arrived for the opening ceremonies at Hulen Park on the evening of the 17th. Mayor Tom Hazlewood and Nell Dixon of the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce, and Melvin Burt, event organizer (Waco SCV camp) welcomed me along with Irish friends Donal O'Flynn,
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President Mauriel Joslyn placed a wreath at the monument in Cleburne, on the Johnson County Courthouse grounds
 
DJ Murphy (owner of Bride Park Cottage), Anne O'Mahoney and Ursula Northridge and presented us with Keys to the City. In attendance were PCS members and descendants of Gen. Cleburne Jeanne Despujols and Mike Ronayne. We had a representative group from the PCS in members Ken Luttrell, who portrays a soldier of the 7th Texas, and Dr. Tom Sweeney, owner of General Sweeney's Museum in Republic, MO. Dr. Sweeney is the proud owner of Gen. Cleburne's sword belt and sash. We all enjoyed a birthday cake for Gen. Cleburne. Brad Johnson of Dallas gave a fine tribute to our favorite general.

On Saturday we were treated as VIPs and rode in an antique bus in a parade led by Confederate soldiers, and Steve Maples who portrays Pat Cleburne for this weekend. We also placed a wreath at a monument on the courthouse grounds that gives the story of Pat Cleburne and why the town is named for him.

The weekend was also an opportunity for a Cleburne descendants reunion with Jeanne Despujols and Mike Ronayne. These cousins had never met before this weekend. Saturday afternoon at the Park had something for everyone. The PCS had
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Members of the Patrick Cleburne Society, Cleburne Family members, and visitors from Ireland were guests of honor in the Cleburne, Texas parade to honor the General's birthday.
a table where we sold T-shirts and other merchandise, and offered literature about our organization. One section held a Scottish festival atmosphere where many Clan tents were represented, and the musical entertainment on stage ranged from Irish traditional music to country and western. Across the ball field, re-enactors of the 7th and 9th Texas camped. A symbolic charge on the Union line at Franklin was held by the Texas Confederates led by Steve Maples portraying General Cleburne to end the day.

The event was a great success and well -supported by the community. They hope to continue this annually, growing larger each year and the PCS will support these efforts. However next year, as the date falls on the same weekend as our bi-annual tribute at the General's grave in Helena, we may not be in Cleburne, Texas unless some of our Texas members would like to take on this responsibility.


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