North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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June 19, 2013

Revolutionary War soldier honored by Pinson Historical Society

PINSON — A recent project that was undertaken by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Pinson Historical Society has now led to the June 8 dedication that was 178 years in the making.

Lt. Edward Tatum, a veteran of the American Revolution, has a long, storied past that not many have known about until now. Born around 1745 in Virginia, Tatum took the oath of allegiance in 1777 before James Lyon and fought in many of the country’s battles during the Revolutionary War.

Battles such as the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Eutaw Springs, and Yorktown are just a few examples of his participation in the service of his country. He later came to explore the Jefferson County area and died a resident of the county.

Steven Baird, a descendent of Tatum and a member of the Pinson Historical Society, has kept a detailed account of his predecessor. "He was an officer of the Revolution, a merchant, a planter, a public servent, and a respected citizen of four states," Baird says of Tatum.

It was partially through the association with Baird that the project of reconstructing Tatum's final resting place in the Baird/Tatum cemetery was started.

In previous years, storms knocked a tree onto the area where he was buried, destroying the stones used on his grave in the process. "Storm's brought down a tree right through the middle of Tatum's grave," Sue Churchwell, Vice President of the Pinson Historical Society, said.

Baird's connection with the site then gave the Society the perfect first project for the group to undertake. A revamp of the property was soon underway.

"One of our goals is to restore some of these historical cemeteries," Churchwell says. "Steven [Baird] has done a lot of research on this, and one of our projects with the Historical Society is to take on restoring some of these cemeteries in the Pinson area."

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