The book "Broken Fortunes" is a record of the known dead of South Carolina's military personnel who gave their lives for their state and nation in the War of 1861-1865. It contains more than 18,000 names. Each of these names is read and honored by the ringing of a bell during this event. We would like to thank all of those who donated their time in past years by taking a shift of reading names, ringing the bell, and standing Honor Guard. Photographs of the occasion in previous years are posted on this site, and may be located on the Photo Index Page. The Reading will take place on the SC Statehouse steps on the Friday morning of the first week of May.. The ceremony begins at 10 AM, and will continue through the evening and night until completed. Ten are read at the SCV Confederate Memorial Day Services on Saturday morning.

The Readers and Bell-Ringers

As in the past, we are asking volunteers who wish to honor these fallen soldiers to commit to one-hour shifts. There should be at least two people per shift, but several people who have traveled together can carry out the duties. The duties will be for one person to read a name, and another to ring the bell. We know that one hour is too long to read, so the people may switch duties every 15 or 30 minutes. If you have four people in your party, this gives you a ready-made audience. Perhaps an OCR Chapter, UDC Chapter, SCV Camp, or Round Table can travel together an book one or two hours. Modern clothing or period dress is acceptable.

We are asking for groups to volunteer to cover one-hour shifts, bringing as many people as you need to read and ring for one hour. The minimum to book an hour is two people. We will need the name and email or phone of each person on your team. Teams may request specific hours, first come, first serve (but we will help you work with the other teams if some switching is needed). Individuals may volunteer and choose the hour or half hour they would prefer to work. If you cannot provide a team member, we will try to get you together with other individuals or teams. Everyone's help will be needed to complete the readings, so don't be shy. We all have something in common.

The Honor Guard

In past years, we had several generous men volunteer to stand as an Honor Guard to fill certain time slots, and other men filled in when they could. I think it would be nice to have reenacting units or SCV camp color guards or members to volunteer for this. I think there should be a minimum of two at a time. The Honor Guard is always very popular. They should be Confederate soldiers, sailors or marines in period uniforms. I am not sure what else is needed, but you will need to bring your own flags and muskets. We would like for teams to sign up for at least one hour, and you are welcome to choose more than one hour. There was a gentleman who played the bagpipes one year, and we would love to see him again. Other musicians may wish to contact us too (period appropriate music of course).

The Fellowship

As you can see from the photos, many volunteers arrived early for their shifts, stayed over, and returned later. This is a good time to meet and renew acquaintances from around the state. An audience is highly desirable, so you are invited to come even if you don't want to read or ring. If you find out that you can come at the last minute, perhaps you will be needed to fill in for someone. Please come and listen, say hello, take pictures, etc. We certainly appreciate it when the local people to come by to check on us!

How to Volunteer and Who to contact to volunteer

The SCOCR chairman for this event is Chris Holke and she is working on the schedule. Please use the following email address to schedule or inquire about the plans for the next event. Let us have the name and email or phone of all team members, and the hour(s) that are your first and second choice. Thanks.
"Broken Fortunes" by Randolph W. Kirkland, Jr. This book contains the names and unit of service of 18,666 men of South Carolina who died in the Civil War.
Broken Fortunes: South Carolina's Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens Who Died in the Service of Their Country and State in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865
ISBN:1570031827 ASIN: 1570031827
Hardcover: 428 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.25 x 11.50 x 9.00
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (1997)
Out of Print South Carolina's 46 counties are served by 42 county and regional public library systems. Many of them carry this book in their reference room or SC Room.