Column: Barbara Ann Howze, Hopewell UMC saved Buford Battleground
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 2:00 am (Updated: February 10, 2:01 am)
There are those of us in the Buford area who are extremely pleased that the S.C. Battleground Preservation Trust will be partnering with a national battleground preservation group and the Katawba Valley Land Trust to preserve the Buford Battleground site for future generations.
How important it is to honor the memory of those fallen and to preserve the natural beauty and significance of the surrounding 47 acres. It is gratifying to know that there will be no residential, commercial or industrial activities permitted on this sacred ground. The fact that it will remain a public park providing historic, educational and recreational purposes for generations to come is precisely as it should be.
The Buford School District, the Buford community, our beloved Buford Crossroads, all proudly bear the name of Col. Abraham Buford, who bravely commanded a regiment of 350 American patriots who were mercilessly massacred by British troops at this site on May 29, 1780. The 113 killed and those too badly wounded to move were buried in that massive grave at the monument grounds.
The original monument in “memory and in honor of the brave and patriotic American soldiers who fell in the battle…” was erected at the battleground on June 2, 1860. The Waxhaw Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Lancaster County Historical Commission dedicated a new marker to replace the old one on May 1, 1955. The inscription on that monument is the same as the one on the original monument.
Mrs. A.B. Tennant presided at that dedication, and the keynote speaker was Albert Sanders, a Furman University history professor. The Buford High School Band provided the music, under the direction of Ben Stevenson. I know because my parents took me to that dedication.
I would like to commend the trustees of Hopewell United Methodist Church for being good stewards of this property. Moreover, I would like to give credit to Barbara Ann Howze because she deserves it.
All during my lifetime, the property surrounding the monument, except for the 2 acres deeded to Lancaster County, belonged to James Matthew Howze and his wife, Beulah Threatt Howze. Their once stately two-story house – now in disrepair – still stands nearby. Upon their death, all property went to their only child, Barbara Ann. Barbara Ann, born with cerebral palsy, died in 2006 at age 55. Acting as personal representative of her estate, I rendered to the trustees of Hopewell United Methodist all the Howze property as directed by her will.
When Barbara Ann and I were little girls, we used to spend time at the monument grounds. I would push her wheelchair down the then-dirt road and we would often picnic there enjoying the freedom which hundreds of patriots made possible by their sacrifices. So it is not only the memory of those gallant men that will be honored. For me and many others who loved her, it is the gracious and generous spirit of Barbara Ann Howze that lingers there as well.
Thank you, Barbara Ann, as well as Hopewell United Methodist, for providing this land that will be permanently preserved as an important historic and cultural landmark. We are so grateful that this hallowed ground will never be developed nor desecrated. God bless America and God bless the Buford Crossroads! It is just as Barbara Ann would want it to be.
Guest column by Dianne Threatt Evans.