Tom Decosimo: My Great-Great-Grandparents Are Buried At The Confederate Cemetery - And Response

Monday, August 21, 2017

To Mayor Berke,

I cannot add any more to the very fine comments made in opposition to your empty jester to remove the city as a trustee of the Confederate Cemetery.

I can, however, add some personal perspective as my great-great-grandparents are buried there.
Penelope McDermott Cooke was a Daughter of the Confederacy and was concerned the remains of the Confederates who had died of their wounds were washing away with the Spring floods. The soldiers had been carelessly buried in the flood plain. Penelope (1830-1875) worked tirelessly with her fellow Daughters to establish and design a remarkable Cemetery.

Certainly those women did not personally know any of those young soldiers. That did not deter them however from lovingly re-interring each soldier to a resting place of honor. Penelope died, I have heard say, of exhaustion working to make the Cemetery a reality. She is buried there with her husband, Col. James Burch Cooke (1819-1899), founder of the Tennessee 59th Volunteer Infantry, State Supreme Court Justice, State Senator, and business and civic leader.

Penelope and Col. Cooke are buried in this sacred place as an honor to their service to the hundreds of soldiers they never knew.

Can you imagine the incredible effort that went into establishing the Confederate Cemetery? We should hold the Cemetery up as all that is good with Chattanooga.

Tom Decosimo 

* * * 

As a student of history I want to thank Mr. Decisimo for his posting regarding the Third Street Cemetery. 

This recent public act by a politician just shows what length people will go to in pandering to an assumed constituency. 

Let me remind Mr. Berke that not only are the loved ones of Mr. Decisimo buried there, many of the Gardenhire family are resting there as well. The Gardenhires of the Nineteenth Century were Democrats and some were Confederates. My neighbor of the 1950s, Mrs. Estelle Gardenhire was a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy and an active member of Mr. Berke's party. 

My family were Union on both sides but I respect the remains of the deceased far more than political correctness or past differences. 

All this makes me wonder as the political winds shift and America changes, if someday our descendants will be watching as today's cemeteries are abandoned or allowed to be parceled for development. 

Ralph Miller



Roy Moore Has Not Upheld The Constitution

Regardless of whether Judge Roy Moore was involved in the sexual assault of minors 40 years ago or not, there is a larger problem with Roy Exum's assertion in today’s Chattanoogan that he would vote for the former judge if he could. This, in a nutshell, represents a serious crisis in our country. For some reason Roy Exum seems to think that Judge Roy Moore is the candidate who ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning; 1 Is Killed; 2 Victims Are Known Gang Members

Ladarius Cross, 28, Terrance Careathers, 26, and a juvenile were shot early Saturday morning. Cross was killed.   Chattanooga Police responded to a motor vehicle crash at 5:16 a.m. in the 1400 block of Roanoke Avenue.   Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police Officers located the single vehicle crash with two people suffering for apparent gunshot wounds. The driver, ... (click for more)

Longest-Serving County Official Knowles Is First In Line To Sign Up For New Term

Bill Knowles is one of the longest-serving officials in Hamilton County history, and he's not through yet. County clerk since 1974, he was the first in line on Friday morning to pick up his petition for re-election. Then he beat everyone back with the completed form. Mr. Knowles said, "I ran in 1974 on a campaign of ending the long tag lines. We put in a tag by mail system ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Blasts CPA 42-20 For Historic Shot At State Title

Christ Presbyterian Academy had football history on its side Friday night. But, it was Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish that made school history against the Lions. Notre Dame won its first TSSAA playoff semifinal game and the impressive 42-20 Division II-2A victory over CPA gave the Irish their initial shot at a state championship. “This is amazing,” Notre Dame defensive ... (click for more)

Bowens, Batiste Lead Tyner To 42-7 Romp Over Marion

There was no need for a fourth-quarter rally at Tyner Friday night. The Tyner Rams had to score three touchdowns in the final five minutes at Jasper on Sept. 15 to beat the Marion County Warriors, 37-28, but the second meeting of the season wasn’t nearly as close. The visiting Warriors scored a touchdown on their second possession for a 7-0 lead, but the Rams came to life ... (click for more)