Sons of Confederate Veterans camps in Aiken and at Fort Gordon are celebrating the birthdays of two of the South's most beloved heroes, Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, with banquets Saturday night.
Lee was born on this date in 1807. Jackson's birthday fell on Jan. 21, 1824.
"The ultimate tribute that the Sons of Confederate Veterans can give these distinguished officers and gentlemen is the Lee-Jackson banquet, and every camp celebrates their birthdays," said Tony Carr, chaplain of the organization's Gen. E. Porter Alexander Camp of Augusta.
The Alexander camp has scheduled its banquet for 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Gordon Officers Club.
"Lee is the greatest soldier that ever spoke the American language, and he called Jackson the greatest soldier the sun ever shone on," Mr. Carr said.
Anne Carter Zimmer, the great-granddaughter of Lee, is this year's guest speaker at the Lee-Jackson banquet, sponsored annually by the Barnard E. Bee Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The banquet will be at the Aiken County Shrine Club on U.S. Highway 1 North at 7 p.m.
Mrs. Zimmer, the author of The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book, is also one of the scheduled speakers at the annual Authors of the Confederate Era Symposium at the University of South Carolina at Aiken campus, also Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing until 4:30 p.m.
The symposium will be in Room 107 of the Administration Building at USC Aiken.
Sponsored jointly by the Bee Camp and the USC Aiken Department of History, the symposium will feature eight other writers, including James Skinner (The Death of a Confederate) and John Hammond Moore (The Southern Homefront).
After the sessions, the writers will be available to answer questions and autograph books. There is no charge for the symposium. For more information on the USC Aiken event, call Dr. Jim Farmer at (803) 641-3339.
Mrs. Zimmer will be the special guest of the Sgt. Berry Benson and the Gen. Barnard Bee chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, said Donna Harris, president of the Benson chapter.
"Mrs. Zimmer and her husband will be honored at a tea at the Aiken County Library, followed by a tour," Mrs. Harris said.
Tickets for the Lee-Jackson dinner in Aiken cost $20. Required reservations may be obtained by calling (803) 648-6072.