History of Quitman Rifles. From the New Orleans Picayune, April 22, 1906.Historic command, organized in 1859, composed of Pike County's pride.
Holmesville, Miss., April 21, 1906.The occasion of the reunion of surviving Confederate veterans at Holmesville raises the curtain and brings to view scenes presented here forty-six years ago. Then the town of Holmesville was the county seat of justice and one of the most lovable spots in South Mississippi, nestling at the foot of a range of hills and situated on a sloping hammock with the beautiful Bogue Chillo River rippling at its feet, nine miles East of the railroad. Pike County was formed in 1815, and this place was chosen as the seat of justice. It has been the home of some of Mississippi's greatest men, and its history is full of interesting events. The surrounding country was peopled by a class of thriving farmers and large cotton planters, the offspring of the hardy pioneer settlers who penetrated its wilds, after Congress had constituted the Mississippi territory in 1798. The railroad from New Orleans to Jackson, Miss., was scarcely finished and Holmesville was the center of business, drawing its supplies from New Orleans by way of Covington, through ox wagon transportation, and it was also a center for gaiety and resort for the people of New Orleans. The beautiful Bogue Chillo River furnished the finest facilities for fishing, boating and bathing. The country was in a flourishing condition and there was perhaps no place that could boast of a happier people. In 1859 a military company was organized by Preston Brent, a graduate of a military institute in the State of Kentucky. They named it the Quitman Guards. The company then was composed of the young men and some of the married men of the town and immediate vicinity. In the year 1860 the ladies of Pike County formed a ‘Banner Society’ for the purpose of raising funds to have a handsome banner made to present to the Quitman Guards, in which the following named  married and unmarried ladies took an active part, and afterwards became identified with the stirring scenes of the sixties: Mesdames I. T. Lamkin, S. A. Matthews, Dr. Jesse Wallace, John S. Lamkin, H. S. Bonney, J. C. Williams, Dr. George Nicholson, H. M. Quin, Louis C. Bickham, Dr. Hillory Quin, J. B. Quin, H. F. Bridgers, Richie Quinn, Christian Hoover, B. C. Hartwell, Widow Eliza Bickham, Owen Conerly, William A. Barr, J. A. Brent, Preston Brent, Jackson Coney, Andrew Kaigler, James A. Ferguson, W. M. Quinn, William Ellzey, Jeremiah Coney, R. G. Statham, James Conerly and W. M. Conerly, and the following young ladies: Rachel E. Coney, Nannie Ellzey, Emma Ellzey, Fanny Wicker, Laura Turnipseed, Fanny A. Lamkin, C. A. Lamkin, Elizabeth and Frances Lamkin, Mary A. Conerly, Mrs. Jennie Lindsey McClendon, Lucy Brumfield, Victoria and Lavinia Williams, Mary E. Hartwell, Eliza Hoover, Nannie Wells, Julia Hoover, Mollie Quin, Alice Quin, Alvira Sparkman, Bettie Miskell, Eliza Thompson, Elizabeth Thompson, Catherine Conerly, Mollie Magee, Mary E. Vaught, Julia Bascot, Maggie Martin, Martha Jane Sibley, Ida Matthews and Ida Wallace. Miss Rachel E. Coney, daughter of Jackson Coney and Emeline Morgan, was chosen to present the banner, and Emma Ellzey and Fanny Wicker were chosen as maids and Benton Bickham escort of honor. Hugh Eugene Weatherby, a brilliant young lawyer, was selected to receive the banner on the part of the Quitman Guards, and the ceremonies were performed the same year on the public square, the spot chosen for the ceremonies of the return of the flag to the survivors. The banner was made in the city of New Orleans. It is of light cream colored silk, with a gold fringe around it and the United States coat of arms formed in the center. On one side, worked in gold letters, is the inscription: