Amazing link to Civil War history walks among us

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Dinwiddie County native Lucas L. Meredith Jr., 84, doesn’t look like a man who has a unique link to history.

He looks more like a wealthy retiree from Florida with a pink polo shirt, white sailor’s shorts and black loafers with full white hair neatly trimmed, and the soft and clean-shaven face that doesn’t reveal his 84 years.

But Meredith is the son of a Confederate soldier. Meredith is one of an estimated dozen people in the nation whose father fought in the Civil War for the Confederates. He is one of only two in Virginia.

Meredith is part of the dwindling “Sons of the Confederacy,” the last personal link to a war that ended in 1865.

Meredith, simply put, is one of the few remaining living links to the Civil War era. He was 3 years old when his father — Pvt. Lucas L. Meredith of the 3rd Virginia Infantry, Company C — died. But he still has vivid memories of his father, who had the unique distinction of carrying a Confederate battle flag during Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

The senior Meredith was not bitter about the South’s loss. “He was disappointed, but not forever bitter about it,” Meredith said. “He had accepted defeat, and he became a good citizen of the United States. But his heart was with the Confederacy, for the rest of his life.”

The math behind the historical rarity goes like this: Meredith was born in 1924. The Civil War ended 59 years before. Meredith’s father was 81 years old at the birth of his son. Lucas Meredith Sr. died May 31, 1927.

As the 100th anniversary of the bloodiest conflict on American soil approached in the 1960s, Meredith began to realize that his immediate link to the past was something special.

Meredith believes the Confederacy “was a noble cause.” He believes the war was about state rights, not slavery. But he doesn’t delve into controversial issues about the Confederate flag or racism.

Lucas L. Meredith Jr. is an amazing link to the history of the area. He is, as it says on his business card, a “Real Son of the Confederacy.”

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