Despite flooding last Saturday, more than 100 people braved the weather to honor the late World War I veteran Birt Moses Buchanan at the Warrior Exhibit inside the Fayetteville Recreation Center.
While the dedication of his military marker was originally scheduled to take place at Pleasant View Cemetery, the venue was changed to the Warrior Exhibit due to inclement weather. Local and out-of-town relatives and many others attended the dedication, along with a reception for artist H.R. Lovell, creator of Moses’ portrait, “The Veteran”.
Arden Humphrey, Kings Mountain Messenger, Daughters of the American Revolution historian, served as emcee and introduced city and county officials, relatives and others in attendance, whose lives were touched by the man known as “Mose”. She spoke of his military service in World War I, the harsh treatment African American soldiers experienced in the Army at that time and how he survived the adverse conditions, pandemics and enemy fire.
H.R. Lovell recalled the day he met Mose and how the painting will always be his favorite. He later commented, “Of all the shows and places my art work has taken me, this is the highlight of it all. This day I will cherish the most. I love the town of Fayetteville and the people. It feels like home to me. I know that Mose would be so proud of it all.”
Lovell donated a framed copy of “The Veteran” to the county, which will be displayed in a prominent area of the Lincoln County Courthouse.
Sherrie Tomerlin, Lincoln County Archives director and DAR regent, extensively researched census records, along with Mose’s military record and admitted that sharing Mose’s story with anyone brought tears to her eyes – “May God forever bless the memory of Birt Moses Buchanan.”
The Rev. Kimi L. Brown, past pastor of Caldwell United Methodist Church in Petersburg, the church where Mose was a member, opened with prayer.
Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman thanked everyone for attending the event and commented on the spirt of Mose, the presence of love in the room and how it should be an example for the rest of the country. Logan Jolly, Petersburg mayor, read a proclamation recognizing Mose Buchanan, and Joyce Eady, representing Fayetteville, read a resolution of respect and esteem in memory of Birt Moses Buchanan his military record and his life.
Tomerlin and Humphrey for a long time had a difficult time trying to find anyone kin to Mose, other than Emma Hardin, great-niece of Mose, but many extended family members attended the dedication.
The Rev. Joe Shelton, of Nashville, a relative, lifetime member of Caldwell United Methodist Church and former preacher there, fondly recalled Mose seated in the “Amen corner” of the church.
“Brother Mose made a difference in our young men … he gave me inspiration.”
The Rev. Shelton recognized the Rev. Cynthia Talley, a relative of Mose and former pastor of Caldwell UMC. Veterans’ Service Officer Terry Quick recognized Greg Dodson, former VSO as the one who started the process of getting a military graver marker for Mose and one who introduced the project to him.
Emma Hardin, great-niece of Mose, was in attendance, and Ronnie Simpson of Texas, his great-great-nephew, spoke affectionately of Mose.
“He served us well. We were proud of him … he was a good man,” Simpson said.
Mose’s step-grandson, Lee Talley, from South Carolina, referred to him as “Pop Mose” and recalled a humorous story. He said Mose kept his home orderly and was a good man.
Artist H.R. Lovell and Maria Cherry, his agent, brought the original painting of “The Veteran” for display, along with both large and small signed prints for those who wished to purchase one. The dedication concluded with “Taps”, played by Barbie Haley, a Lincoln County High School band student.
Additional large and small signed prints of “The Veteran” are available at the Lincoln County Archives on Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The prints come with a certificate of authenticity.
For more information about the prints, call the Archives at 931-438-1579.