December 31, 2011 – Compatriot Carroll closed the 2011 Journal.
November 19, 2011 – Hazard, KY: We picked up two headstones a little past 10 and headed for Magoffin County. After a quick breakfast at Hardee’s in Jackson, we were at the gate of the Keeton Cemetery a little after 12. It was easy to find because Carlos was there to scout it out very recently. Private Riley M. Keeton (1835 – 1926) served as a Confederate in Company H of the 13th KY Cavalry. We soon had his headstone placed and began looking for a place to turn the truck around. In the process, we found that the cemetery also had a back gate, and we could have saved ourselves some work if we’d found it earlier. Our next stop was about 20 minutes away, and we wasted no time in getting there. The Berry Patrick Cemetery presented a different sort of challenge. The headstone that we were about to place was for Private John Harvey (1833 – 1910). He was a member of Company G of the 13th KY Cavalry. Unfortunately, the cemetery was on a steep, tree-covered hill; too steep for the truck, and too steep for the two of us to man-handle the headstone. Fortunately, Carlos had been there too. While I explored the cemetery on foot, Carlos looked for help at the house at the foot of the hill. I found that there was a road that led from the far side of the house to the upper side of the cemetery. Unfortunately, the only gate in the cemetery fence was at the lower side. Carlos found that all the men folk were in the log woods. Fortunately, the lady of the house said there were four teen-age boys there, and they would be glad to help us. So, we drove the truck, with the stone and the tools, to the back side of the cemetery, and the four young men met us there. After some introductions, they cheerfully set about doing most of the work. Cody and Brady Gasparac, Chet Back, and Damon Huff moved the stone and the tools, first down the hill to the gate, and then back up the hill to the gravesite. These polite and helpful young men stayed with us until we finished placing the headstone and even helped us get the tools back to the truck. This fine day and these new acquaintances were shared and sincerely appreciated by Carlos Brock and Manton Ray Cornett.
November 12, 2011 – Hazard, KY: Placing a headstone for a Confederate veteran is always a welcome privilege, and placing a headstone for one’s own ancestor is an even greater privilege. Imagine being able to place four such Confederate headstones, all during a single outing! This was the situation for Carlos Brock today. It would be just the two of us today, and we had the 4 headstones on board as we left town. All 4 headstones were bound for the same cemetery in Menifee County. They were for members of the same Stacy family; a father and three of his sons.
It was about a quarter after twelve when we arrived at the gate of the Hamilton Chapel Cemetery, near Means. In just a little over two hours, we had finished the task; breaking the handle of the “PHD” and making a new four-legged friend in the process. Receiving their new Confederate headstones today were Private James C. Stacy SR, and his three sons: Private James C. Stacy JR, Private James Camel Stacy, and 1st Corporal Samuel Stacy. The “old man” was in Company B of Diamond’s 10th Cavalry and his three sons were all in Company A of the 5th KY Infantry. We spent the rest of the day around Frenchburg and in Bath County, doing a little field research. With only moderate success in the research department, we got back to Hazard about an hour and a half after the headlights came on. It seems superfluous to say that this sunny day was enjoyed by a diminished crew consisting only of Carlos Brock and Manton Ray Cornett.
November 2, 2011 – Hazard, KY: Historian Faron Sparkman submits these updated statistics:
- Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set = 1,266
- 13th Ky Burial Sites Located = 894
- 13th Ky Stones Set = 680
- 5th KY. Inf. Stones Set = 355
- Diamond’s 10th Ky. Stones Set = 104
- Breathitt County – 136
- Carter County – 9
- Floyd County – 147
- Greenup County – 5
- Knott County – 123
- Letcher County – 158
- Rowan County – 26
October 10, 2011- Hazard, KY: The weather couldn’t have been more pleasant and the crew couldn’t have been more prepared for another day of Confederate stone-setting. We picked up the four headstones for our 13th KY Cavalry men and left town around 10AM. We went directly to Letcher County, to the Bates Cemetery on Rt. 7 near Deane. Private Benjamin Bentley (1829 – 1866) served in Company H, and his new headstone was placed near that of his brother, 1 LT Aaron Rice Bentley (1836 – 1876) who served in the same company. Before we left the Bates Cemetery, Carlos got a call from Faron; he had some free time, and would find us as soon as possible. We soon arrived at the Hall Cemetery on Shelby Branch, where we had to back up a grassy slope to the cemetery entrance. That was no problem, but getting the headstone out of the truck took unusual effort. Faron found us there, hard at work, and helped finish placing the headstone for Private John Hall (1832 – 1887) who was a member of Company F. Soon, we were on the winding Rt. 122 and into Floyd County, where we located a second Hall Cemetery near Bevinsville. We backed the truck up the driveway to the cemetery entrance, unloaded, and hand-trucked the headstone about 50 yards up a gentle slope and across the cemetery to its final destination. We were tamping the soil around the erect slab of granite when Faron noticed THE MISTAKE. It was subtle, but critical. We have contacted V. A., and they have admitted that it was their error, and that we will receive a replacement headstone in about 4 weeks. So, our efforts were honest, but we can’t yet take credit for this one! The rest of our outing was so rewarding that we soon overcame our disappointment. We were way past lunch, and since the “Pig in a Poke” was closed, we took a trip down memory lane at the Prestonsburg Jerry’s restaurant. While we were wolfing down our “J-Boys”, we decided to make another stop on our way to our next cemetery. We got a history lesson from Faron at the Samuel May house. Built in 1817 by Samuel May, it is the oldest house in Prestonsburg. Constructed of bricks manufactured at the site, the surrounding 350-acre farm was a recruitment and supply post for Confederates during the war of 1861-1865. We walked the grounds, read all the information, took a few photos, and wished we could go inside. Imagine all the Confederate boots, brogans and bare feet that walked these same grounds! We still had one headstone on board, so we headed out for the West Prestonsburg Cemetery, located a short distance off Rt. 114. The cemetery was overgrown with ripe weeds, so it was impossible to see the ground until Jim got busy with his old-fashioned, manually-operated weed-whacker. We found the grave of Private Daniel Howard (1845 – 1916), right next to the grave of his son. Daniel served in Company C of the 13th KY Cavalry, CSA, and his son, Willie, served as a Private in the U. S. Army during World War I. Willie’s military headstone was lying flat on the ground, so we re-set it before doing his father’s new headstone. When we were finished, we all felt that it would have been a shame to have left that undone. Now, both stones are standing tall, side-by-side, and each one is displaying its appropriate colors.
With more headstone requests pending approval, and a few already available, we just can’t wait to get on the road again. Today’s lovely fall excursion was made possible and relished by Faron Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Jim Osborne, and Manton Ray Cornett.
September 25, 2011 — Historian Faron Sparkman reports updated stone numbers: Here are our latest numbers for the web:
- Eastern KY. Confederate Stones Set – 1,258
- 13th KY Burial Sites Located – 893
- 13th KY. Stone Set – 676
- 5th KY. Inf. Stones Set – 351
- Stone Locations:
- Breathitt – 134
- Letcher – 155
- Morgan – 133
September 8, 2011 – Hindman, KY: “Yankee Buster”, one of the Caudill Battery’s two mountain howitzers, took part in the opening ceremony of the Knott County Gingerbread Festival. The cannon crew, consisting of Glenn, Richard, and Wendell Brown, along with Carlos Brock and Manton Ray Cornett, coordinated their efforts with those of the Knott County DAV. A military salute was rendered in honor of all veterans as well as the victims and survivors of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The howitzer was fired before and after the DAY’s 21-gun salute.
August 27, 2011 – Hazard, KY: An unusually large crew of stone-setters including Faron Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Britt Smith and Manton Ray Cornett gathered in a parking lot, just outside town, before heading out to place two well-deserved Confederate Headstones. The markers were for two men of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry who were missing and presumed dead after the Battle of Cynthiana on 11 June 1864. Since the remains of the men were not recovered, our only choice was to place “In Memory Of” headstones in a logical location.
Our first stop was in Whitesburg, at the Sandlick Cemetery, where we placed the headstone for Third Sergeant John T. Kelly (1842 – 1864), who served in Company H. Kelley’s headstone was placed next to several others that honor men of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry who did not survive the war.
From Whitesburg, we made the trip back through Hazard to lower Troublesome Creek, to the T-Point Cemetery, where we placed the headstone for Fifth Sergeant Ira Allen (1841 – 1864), who was a member of Company G. Allen’s headstone was placed next to that of his widow, Delilah Combs Allen. Today’s experience was a unique privilege that was well-appreciated by every Camp member who took part.
August 16, 2011 – Morgan County, KY: The three of us arrived from Hazard around noon. We had been there before, several months ago, when we located the grave and determined what it would take to finish the job. It had been a long wait; we needed a willing crew and favorable conditions and today, we had both. We were about to try something that we hoped would save us some work, but had never tried before. Like many other Confederate graves, this one was way up on a hill, and the hill was steep and covered with trees, bushes and briars. The foot of the hill had been excavated several years ago, making it even steeper and the footing more unstable. Good thing we brought Willis’ ropes.
We took a pulley up the bank and secured it to the first available tree, and passed the sturdy rope through the pulley. One end of the rope went back down the hill and was tied to the dolly with the headstone, and the other end of the rope was attached to the pickup truck. Carlos and I held on to the dolly, while Jim got behind the wheel. It worked like a charm; as the truck went south, the dolly and the headstone went north and up the bank.
About that time, our old friend, Harold McKinney arrived. And about that time, Carlos made another suggestion. We had planned on using the truck just to get the headstone into the woods. But since the results had been so positive, why not keep using the truck to do the work as far as the rope would reach? So, we went higher on the hill, attached the pulley to a new tree, and this time, Harold did the pulling with his truck. We repeated the process one more time, bringing the dolly and headstone to the part of the hill that was less steep, and within about 30 yards of the grave. As we prepared the site for the new headstone, Harold made his way up the hill, and the four of us finished the task. Soon, we made our way back down the hill; satisfied that we had done our best to honor another of our Confederate ancestors. Private Edward H. Pelfrey (1833 – 1908) served in Company A of the 5th KY Infantry. His final resting place is on Pelfrey Branch, off Rt. 437 in northeastern Morgan County.
Our next destination would provide a different sort of challenge, but one that would require further service from the old pickup truck. Carlos and Harold had both been there before, so Jim and I just had to trust their advice and direction. Still in Morgan County, but this time in the southwestern part, just off Rt. 203, we found the house at 437 Rexville Road. After some discussion with the residents, we headed through a gate beside the yard, and up the hill, through tall grass and weeds that made the ground invisible and a bit suspicious. We made it to the back of the field and found what used to be a road that led into the woods. Soon, Carlos and Harold left the truck to clear our path of any debris that might interfere with our progress. When they gave the “all clear”, we crossed our fingers, and pointed the truck up the steep, narrow part of the ‘road’. With the truck in ‘low-4wheel’, it was no problem, much to our relief. We didn’t stop until we were forced to, by a downed tree branch, well beyond where we passed up Carlos and Harold. We soon learned that the cemetery was just a few yards to our left, and that we had stopped exactly where we needed to be!
Carlos soon found the grave, and he and Harold prepared the site for the headstone. This was a grave that had gone without a visible marker for 130 years! Private Calvin Caywood (1836 – 1881) served in Company K of the 5th KY Infantry. His grave is high on a hill overlooking the farm on Rt. 3089, also known as Rexville Road.
Thankful for a beautiful day, for good company, and for things that work, we headed back toward Hazard. This good day was shared and enjoyed by Carlos Brock, Harold McKinney, Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett.
21 July, 2011 Historian Faron Sparkman reports the following updates on the stones and burials: Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set – 1,254
- 13th KY. Cav. burial sites located – 889
- 13th KY. Cav. stones set 674
- 5th KY. Inf. stones set 349
- Stone Locations:
- Johnson County – 33
- Letcher County – 154
- Magoffin County – 13
- Morgan County – 131
- Perry County – 105
July 8-10, 2011 – Wise, VA: After the call to arms went out, we loaded our gear and headed for Wise, VA, about noon on Friday; after picking up “General Cleburne” at work. We arrived and got set up just before the rain started; others were not so lucky. We were happy to see all our old friends and The Confederate Telegraph Office, which was set up next to our tent. On Saturday, the Battle of Gladeville took place in the middle of town; the artillery was loud and brought cheers from the crowd. After the battle, two young lads were escorted around camp. They were charged with chicken-stealing, and sadly, they were finally shot. Sunday, after church, the battle of Cranes Nest was fought just outside town. There was a large crowd, but most watched from their air-conditioned cars along the road.
Caudill Camp members present for the Battles at Wise were Anthony Hawkins, Randall Haddix, Britt Smith, Garland Kiser and Willis Strong. “Little Jesse”, manned by Willis Strong and Randall Haddix, and assisted by veteran re-enactor Moses Hamblin, was fired 8 times on Saturday, and 16 times on Sunday. This provided a great deal of noise and smoke, but thankfully, no misfires or mishaps.
(Submitted by Willis Strong, 2LT Commander, Ben Caudill Camp)
July 6, 2011 – Hazard, KY: We had the privilege of sharing today’s trip with our Adjutant, Richard Brown. He is a reliable authority on matters of local history, so the rest of the crew spent the afternoon learning a bit about some of the local historical landmarks and even more about a tragic event that made history within our collective memory.
After picking up Richard at his workplace in Whitesburg, we headed across Pine Mountain, passing by Scuttle Hole Gap, the Bull Hole, Little Shepherd Trail, and the road to Bad Branch Falls. Soon, we were at the guard shack, where we had to wait for an escort to accompany us to the cemetery.
On our way to the Eli Boggs Cemetery, we passed by the place where, in 1976, 26 coal-miners and mine inspectors were killed in two separate explosions. Of course, the mine-face has been closed and reclaimed, the coal-tipple has been torn down and removed, and the railroad has been dismantled. The only evidence remaining is the engineering office building and a big pile of used railroad ties. Beyond and above the site, another mining operation is in progress. It appeared that both deep-mining and very obvious surface-mining were taking place, and some of the latter involved the foothills of Black Mountain, the highest elevation in Kentucky.
Our escort took us to the edge of the operation, where we were left to finish our work. He waited nearby, with little to do except keep an eye on us. We located the graves of Henry C. Boggs and his brother, Elijah Boggs. These two men were the Confederate ancestors of Adjutant Brown. The cemetery was larger than many that we visit, and older than most. One can only imagine the beauty that surrounded the cemetery, before men had to make their living by digging coal from the ground. On one side, Pine Mountain stretches into the horizon in either direction. On the other side is Black Mountain, forming part of the divide between Kentucky and Virginia.
Private Elijah Boggs (1830 – 1916) and Private Henry C. Boggs (1837 – 1916) were the sons of Eli and Sarah Eldridge Boggs. Both men served in Company D of Ben Caudill’s 13th Kentucky Cavalry. Now, their graves have been honored with new Confederate headstones, after being virtually unmarked for nearly a hundred years.
Today’s experience was shared and enjoyed by Adjutant Richard Brown, Researcher Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett.
July 2, 2011 – Hazard, KY: Preston Hall was a Confederate Private in Company D of the 13th KY Cavalry. Alfred T. Brown was a 1st Corporal in Company K of the 5th KY Infantry, CSA. They both survived the war with Hall out-living Brown by more than a quarter of a century. Finally, they were both buried in Magoffin County, on opposite sides of Salyersville. And, that was our destination; our mission was to place two overdue Confederate headstones in their honor.
We missed our usual pit stop in Jackson when we took Route 30 up Quicksand Creek all the way into Salyersville. On the way to the cemetery, we noticed that there was a funeral in session at a nearby church. The significance didn’t really sink in until we arrived at the cemetery. There, we saw an open grave, covered by a tent, and two waiting attendants. Carlos tried to speak to them, but they apparently did not understand English. Soon, one of the local residents approached us, and he soon let us know that a funeral procession would be arriving at the cemetery, as soon as the funeral ended…at the nearby church. Needless to say, we wasted no time placing the headstone for Corporal Brown. We had figured that if we got boxed in by the funeral procession, we would be there for an hour or more. We loaded up the truck in record time, and made a dash down the one-lane road. We got about 75 yards before we met several vehicles. So, into reverse we went, returning to our previous spot near the cemetery gate. As soon as the road was available to us, we scampered down the hill and onto Cripple Creek Road. Before we could get to Route 7, we met the hearse, followed by a dozen or so vehicles. We were able to pull over and let them pass, and then proceeded to Route 7. There, we were surprised to find an even bigger portion of the funeral procession being help up until we got out! Just a couple of minutes longer in the cemetery and we might have been trapped there for a couple of hours.
We decided to find some lunch in Salyersville before going to the Jellico Cemetery near Mine Fork, very near Johnson County. As we passed through town on our way to McDonalds, we saw fire trucks, horses, 4-wheelers, and lots of people sitting and standing along the streets. It didn’t take three rocket scientists to figure out that they were about to have…a parade! Not much we could do about that, so we went ahead to McDonalds and had a relaxing lunch. Randall even had time to enjoy his pipe for a few minutes while I attempted to program the Tom-Tom.
When we tried to retrace our steps through Salyersville and onto Route 40, we found the roads into town blocked. We turned around, went the opposite direction, and eventually found Route 40 and the Jellico Cemetery. We had to cross a wooden bridge and a grassy bottom and then climb a steep grassy hill to get to the back side of the cemetery. Of course we were a bit concerned about the ability of the bridge to hold up our weight, so Carlos got out and gave the bridge his best inspection by jumping up and down on it. Before he got out, we had a brief discussion about what type of big snake that was basking on the bridge. The reptile in question was more afraid of Carlos than he was of it, so it slithered off the bridge, apparently into the creek. From there, we encountered no further surprises; climbing the unfamiliar hill was a snap, and there was a large place to turn at the top. We even got to roll the headstone and dolly downhill to the gravesite. Private Hall’s new headstone now rests next to those of his wife and one of their grandchildren.
This interesting expedition was carried out and thoroughly enjoyed by Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett.
June 24, 2011 – Hazard, KY: We gathered at my house, where the two Confederate headstones had been stored for a few weeks. By 10 AM we were loaded up and headed East on U. S. 80 toward Paintsville. The drive was uneventful and took about an hour. The weather could not have been better for what we were about to attempt. We had been at the site for only a few minutes when we were joined by Compatriot and Chaplin Lawrence Cook. We climbed the hill, surveyed the overgrown cemetery, and located the spots where we would honor our two Confederates. We would have to pull the headstones, one at a time, up the steep hill with a rope and pulley system.
Just about the time we were ready to make the first pull, Compatriot Anthony Hawkins happened to spot us on the hill as he drove by on U. S. 23. He came in quite handy as he and I teamed up on the rope while Carlos, Randall and Lawrence guided the dolly and headstone up the hill to the first available tree. We repeated the process for the second headstone before Anthony had to be on his way. The pull was a bit easier the rest of the way, as the hill flattened out somewhat near the cemetery, and there weren’t as many loose rocks there to interfere with our footing.
Soon, both headstones were in their final resting place, and a brief dedication was conducted. The men we honored today were Privates Thomas Hall and Thomas Layton. They served in Company C of the 1st Battalion KY Mounted Rifles, and were killed in a delaying action on Jenny’s Creek on 7 January 1862. They were buried in unmarked graves, in the future right-of-way of U. S. 23. Their graves were most likely disturbed when the highway was constructed; therefore, these “In Memoriam” headstones were placed, with permission, in the Beverly Cemetery, overlooking the soldier’s actual final resting place.
Thanks are in order to all who took part in this honorable activity; Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix, Lawrence Cook, Anthony Hawkins and Manton Ray Cornett.
June 10, 2011 _ Hazard, KY: The two of us would have to go it alone today; at least until we got to Morgan County. We would meet Harold and Henrietta there, and they would guide us to the cemeteries, where we would place our load of Confederate headstones. We spent about 15 minutes looking for one another, but made the connection a little after 10 near the Burton Cemetery on Rt. 191, where we would place a headstone for Private Daniel W. Burton (1819 – 1889), who was a member of Company C, 5th KY Infantry. It was beginning to get a bit warm, and Harold urged us to move on to the next cemetery. The Perry Cemetery is beyond the end of Bridge Road, off Highway 1161, north of West Liberty. After enjoying the scenic route, we set to work and placed the headstone for Private Thomas D. Perry (1796 – 1889), who served in Company C of the 5th KY Infantry. Surely, he would have been proud of his descendants; on hand to witness the event were a gg grandson, a ggg grandson, a gggg grandson, and a ggg grandson-in-law! And, we were all treated to, but not seriously threatened by, some atmospheric fireworks, which both expedited our efforts and cooled our brows. Considering ourselves lucky to have escaped our exposed location unscathed, we decided to take a lunch break at the local McDonald’s before finishing our Morgan County visit.
After lunch, we placed a headstone in the Oldfield Cemetery near Mize for Private George W. Oldfield (1818 – 1896). He was a member of Company A, 2nd Battalion KY Mounted Rifles. Besides the four of us, there were four others there to witness the occasion, including a great granddaughter of the veteran. While traveling from West Liberty to Mize, we had taken time today to visit two other cemeteries, where we recorded the coordinates of three headstones that had been placed before GPS technology became widely available.
Back in Hazard, almost 10 hours after launching our efforts, we were tired but satisfied that we had once again done our best to honor a few of those who so bravely served the Confederacy. Today’s little excursion was carried out, and fully enjoyed, by Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett.
May 31, 2011 – Hazard, KY: Today was a scorcher, but we got lucky when we found shade in both of the cemeteries that we visited. First, we returned to the Sandlick Cemetery in Whitesburg, where we placed another stone for a 13th KY Cavalry veteran. He was Private Abner Caudill (1839 – 1863), a member of Company E. There are now 13 new Confederate headstones in that section of the Sandlick Cemetery; all for men who served in Caudill’s Army. From Whitesburg we turned back toward Hazard, made a left at Vicco, and made the short drive to the head of George’s Branch. There, beneath the comforting shade of an old dogwood, we set to work. Soon, the headstone for Private Stephen Sumner (1837 – 1912) was placed; very near the Confederate headstones of his brothers, James Jr. and John Wesley. All three brothers were members of the 13th KY Cavalry; James Jr. served in Company B while John Wesley and Stephen served together in Company H. Today’s efforts were shared and enjoyed by Carlos Brock, Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett.
On Monday, May 30, Memorial Day, the Caudill Camp joined the Knott County DAV, Whitesburg VFW, and the Military Museum in conducting a remembrance to all veterans. The event was conducted at the Military Museum in Whitesburg. The Caudill Camp fired Yankee Buster to open the ceremony. After the 21 gun salute fired by the DAV, speeches by soldiers and politicians, the playing of Taps and prayer, the Caudill Camp closed the ceremony with cannon fire. The Daughters of the American Revolution provided refreshments. Camp members present were: Raymond Isaacs, Quenton Childers, Garland Kiser, Wendell Brown, Glenn Brown and Richard Brown.
On Sunday, May 29, the Caudill Camp fired “Yankee Buster” three times in honor of all veterans buried in the Sandlick Cemetery. Members of the Camp hauled the cannon up the hill to the Confederate portion of the cemetery. A small crowd gathered to hear the cannon roar and to hear a small story about the cemetery, as well as why the cannon was being fired. Glenn Brown provided a cooler full of drinks for refreshments. All Confederate tombstones, known and unknown, had new flowers provided and placed by Glenn and Fern Brown. Camp members present were: Raymond Isaacs, Nathan Whitaker, Quenton Childers, Tom Childers, Garland Kiser, David Brown, Wendell Brown, Glenn Brown and Richard Brown.
May 21, 2011 – Hazard, KY: It was about 9:30 when Carlos and I loaded up at Manufacturer’s Supply and turned our faces toward Virginia. On the way to the Wolfe Cemetery at Weber City, we stopped in Letcher County where we placed a Confederate headstone for 3CPL David H. Hall (1837 – 1863). He served in Company E of the 13th KY Cavalry; his grave, and the grave of his brother who served with him, are in the Beaver Dam Cemetery on Rt. 7 near Deane.
We spent the rest of the day making repairs and socializing in Virginia. At the Wolfe Confederate Cemetery, we repaired the damaged flagpole before removing and replacing the headstone for Private Henry Caudill (1839 – 1862).
Willis’ “grabbers” really came in handy for this couple of “old-timers” as we had to lift the stone and the attached concrete out of the hole. But, we were able to complete the job and leave with the satisfaction of knowing that Private Caudill’s record had been set straight. Visitors will now see and understand that he served in Company F of the 5th KY Infantry. We took it easy for the rest of the day, visiting with our friends at McGee’s Merchandise, and making some new friends at Snowflake. We went there to search for the grave of another Confederate relative. He was Drury S. Godsey, and he served in Company D of the 37th Virginia Infantry. The good news is that we found his grave, on Big Branch of Moccasin Creek, after a two-hour visit with some great folks who still live on part of the old Godsey property. The bad news is that there is no mention of his service at his gravesite, even though he took part in many battles, was wounded at least once, and, for more than nine months, was a POW after being captured at Spotsylvania Court House.
With darkness approaching and fatigue setting in, we turned back toward KY, arriving at our starting point at exactly 10PM. Just before we parted company, we made tentative plans for our next outing.
May 2, 2001 — Historian Faron Sparkman reports updated stone numbers:
- Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set – 1,241
- 13th KY. stones set – 668
- 5th KY. Inf. stones set – 346
- Elliott County – 31
- Letcher County – 150
- Wolfe County – 44
- Virginia – 114
April 21, 2011 – Whitesburg, KY: This afternoon, sixteen eager Camp members met in the Sandlick Cemetery for a good, old-fashioned work party, combined with the monthly meeting of the Ben Caudill Camp. Willis and Randall got there first, and were working like two beavers, cutting and carrying brush from the graves of Jasper Newton and Minerva Caudill Thompson. We haven’t nailed it down yet, but we strongly believe that Thompson served in the 25th Virginia Cavalry and married Miss Caudill after the war ended. Minerva was the daughter of Private Stephen Caudill, brother of Colonel Benjamin Caudill. Willis and Randall were soon joined by Carlos and Manton Ray, who delivered five Confederate headstones and all the tools and supplies necessary to place them. By the time the rest of the men arrived, the digging was under way. Soon, there wasn’t a clean hand in the crowd, as the stones were set in a perfectly straight row, just behind another row that had been put in place recently. Finishing touches had been completed on the Thompson graves, another invading Russian olive had been cut down and removed, and its roots had been grubbed and discarded, making room for another anticipated Confederate headstone.
As the sun dropped behind the Letcher County hills, we gathered among the headstones for our group picture. Then, there was just enough twilight for our Camp meeting, which took place there, among the headstones. It was a very special time; the type of time that is not likely to happen again. The five men who were honored today were all Privates in the 13th Kentucky Cavalry. Oliver Stewart Gray (1839-1863) served in Company A, George W. Slone(1839-1863) and John Slone (1834-1863) served in Company B, Sampson Southwood (1844-1863) served in Company G, and John Helms (1825-1863) served in Company I. These five brave men died from illness while in camp or in the hospital at Whitesburg.
April 13, 2011 – Sandy Hook, KY: Our crew left Hazard with 4 Confederate markers, heading for Elliott County, but with some nagging doubts about being able to finish the job. Carlos had been there twice already, doing the field work that must be done prior to requesting government-furnished grave markers. He had also done the library research before interviewing local residents, and finally had located the cemeteries and the graves of the veterans. But, we’d had a lot of rain recently, and Carlos knew that a couple of the graves just might be inaccessible.
As we passed through West Liberty, our doubts began to mount. The small streams that feed into the Licking River were backed up, covering the flood plain with several feet of muddy water. We could only hope for better conditions in a different watershed.
Apparently, Sandy Hook had better tolerated the recent rains; we found nothing underwater, but the ground had received a good soaking, and could use some time to dry out. So, with Carlos calling the shots, we went to the driest place first, the Town Cemetery, on a point overlooking the east side of Sandy Hook. We drove within 50 yards of the grave, unloaded the truck, and soon had placed and dedicated the Confederate headstone for Captain James K. Hunter (1832 – 1873). Hunter was the Captain of Company B, 5th Kentucky Infantry. When Elliott County was formed in 1869, Hunter was appointed as its first county Judge.
Our next stop would be in the Fannin Cemetery on North Ruin Road. Here we placed and dedicated a Confederate headstone for another 5th Kentucky Infantry officer, First Lieutenant Peter M. Fannin (1832 – 1885). He served in Company B with Captain Hunter and was also his brother-in-law. In 1870, an election was held in Elliott County and Fannin was elected to a four-year term as the second Elliott County Judge. By placing these two headstones first, we had given the sun time to do its work on the other two locations; one on a slippery hill, and the other at the back side of a low-lying bottom. We decided that the hill would be out next effort.
We drove to Click Cemetery Road and headed uphill toward the woods. Stopping next to a small pond, we walked about 300 yards up the hill and into the woods where we reached the cemetery. Although the grassy turf was still quite damp, we were convinced that the truck could make it. For some reason, Carlos stayed in the cemetery while we brought up the truck and its cargo. We did get a little sideways once, just after we passed the pond, but made the climb to the cemetery with no further problem. We finished the job so quickly that we forgot to do the dedication! But, we did leave behind another Confederate headstone; this one was for Private John W. Click (1842 – 1901), Company A, 2nd Kentucky Mounted Rifles. It was 4 PM, we had managed the high ground, but we now had to deal with some low ground. We had to go back to the east side of town and find Brier Hill Road. We eventually found the Ferguson Cemetery, located at the back side of a big bottom surrounded by a small herd of cattle and an electric fence. We tried to get permission to enter the pasture, but found nobody home at the only nearby house. So, we decided to walk to the cemetery and make sure it was the right one. We soon learned that it was indeed the right cemetery, and we also learned that some of those cattle were bulls! Rather than drag the headstone all the way across the bottom, we decided to drive the truck in as far as we could, since the ground seemed dry enough. It was, and we backed up within 30 yards of the cemetery and unloaded. While we were digging the hole for the headstone, we noticed that the cattle had surrounded the truck and while some were having fun with our buckets, tools and cooler, others were enjoying rubbing various parts of their bodies all over the truck. One bull did lower his head and voice his disapproval of our presence, but thankfully, we never felt threatened. The small cemetery had multiple strands of barbed wire around it, but had no gate. We had to climb over the wire and then slide the headstone under it. It was the hardest work of the day, but somehow, that just maked it seem more worthwhile. We left behind a dedicated Confederate headstone for another officer! This one was for Second Lieutenant John W. Ferguson (1830 – 1875), Company B, 5th Kentucky Infantry. It certainly appears that these three officers served together, survived the war, and then, like so many other veterans, died when they were much younger than any of our crew.
We had exceeded our expectations by placing all four headstones before the day was done. We still had some daylight, so we spent most of it by looking for the graves of two other Confederates. After nearly 3 hours of searching the head of Brier Fork and the hillsides opposite Bill Branch, we came up empty and called it quits. We had just enough time to grab a bite at McDonalds and hurry back to Hazard, arriving around 9:30 PM, well after dark. How often do we have the chance to place headstones for three Confederate officers on the same day? Just once, we feel, and today was that day. Today’s work was completed and appreciated by Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix, and Manton Ray Cornett.
April 11, 2011 Faron Sparkman reports the following numbers for stones
- Eastern Kentucky Confederate stones set – 1,232
- 13th KY. Burial sites located – 887
- 13th Stones Set – 662
- Lee County – 10
- Letcher County – 145
April 11, 2011 Posted this Bio on 3Cpl Martin Baily, 5th Ky Inf, to Articles Martin P. Bailey was born in 1821 in Harlan County, Kentucky to Katherine Bailey. He lived much of his early life in Perry and Breathitt County. In 1849, he married Almeda Vires (who was 16 years his junior) in a ceremony at his home on Holly Creek in Breathitt County (now Wolfe County). On September 11, 1862, Martin Bailey was one of 47 men who enlisted as privates at the Hargis Fields in Jackson in the newly constituted Company B of the 5th Kentucky Infantry (Consolidated) in the Camp of Captain William Tyler Barry South. Within three days, Bailey was promoted to the rank of 3rd Corporal in Company B and served throughout much of the war in Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. From 1862 to late 1863, Corporal Bailey, Company B, and the 5th Kentucky Infantry was charged with the task of constantly guarding more than 300 salt works and mountain passes along the Kentucky and Virginia state lines. Involved in no major battles during this time, Company B was engaged in an almost “constant onslaught of snipes and treachery from every tree and rock.” In August of 1863, the 5th Kentucky Infantry was ordered south by General Braxton Bragg in support of Gen. S. B. Buckner movements near Knoxville. Arriving one day before the initiation of hostilities at the battle of Chickamauga, the 5th was organized into the Army of Tennessee where they were labeled the “Sang Diggers” by soldiers who believed they were inexperienced mountain soldiers. In the final efforts at the Battle of Chickamauga, the regiment was ordered forward into battle in the effort to take and hold Snodgrass Hill. Through bravery and determination, Private Bailey and the 5th Kentucky Infantry earned the respect of General Bragg and helped dispel the belief that they were untried and unproven soldiers. Following their brave attack up Snodgrass Hill on September 20, 1863, the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry was assigned Bates Command of the Orphan Brigade throughout the conclusion of the war. However, Martin Bailey was did not finish the war. In late 1863, Bailey was granted a leave of absence to return to his home on the steep and rocky hills of Billy Fork due to a medical condition described as “cold on the lungs.” He never returned. At the expiration of his leave, Martin Bailey was reported as a deserter but no doubt was unable to return to his command. After other military service, he returned to his home on Billy’s Creek near the Lee and Estill County line where he lingered in his illness until the evening of October 8, 1870 when he died of fever from what the family called “malaria.” Ultimately the condition that claimed the life of Corporal Martin P. Bailey took the life of four of his seven children who were buried near him on the family farm where he rests today below the Pinnacle Rock.
April 7, 2011 – Whitesburg, KY: The numbers of Confederate markers in the Sandlick Cemetery continues to grow. Today, Camp members Carlos Brock, Richard Brown, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett had the honor of placing five new Confederate headstones there, in memory of members of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry. Their service records indicated that they died while in the Whitesburg area, either in camp or in a nearby Confederate hospital; they died most likely from disease rather than from wounds. Caudill’s men who were honored today included 2SGT Wesley Grigsby (1841-1863) and 3SGT Ephraim Caudill (1841-1863) who served in Company B, and Privates William Francis (1831-1863), James Howard (1843-1863) and Nelson Mosley (1834-1863) who served together in Company C. These five joined more than a dozen other marked Confederate graves as well as an undetermined number of “unknowns”.
April 2, 2011 – Greeley, KY: They came from Dry Fork and Combs’ Branch, from Lothair and Typo, from Town Mountain and Bear Branch, and even from the city of Jackson. They all came with a single purpose; to give long overdue honor to another Confederate veteran. They drove their street vehicles as far as they could; to the end of the graveled road, just north of Greeley in Lee County, and close to the Estill County line. Here, they loaded the engraved slab of marble onto one ATV and tools and gravel mix onto another. Only two would enjoy the ride; the rest would enjoy the walk. They all got through or around the numerous water holes, with only the 4-wheelers getting wet. From the foot of the hill to the gap, the trail was steep in places, but only halted the group once, when a downed sapling became short work for David’s machete. At the gap, between two enormous rock pinnacles, they turned right and onto the last known remnant of the Bailey property. Around the head of the holler they went, and finally, leaving the beaten path, they bushwhacked the rest of the way. They used blades of various sorts, some manually operated, and some petrol-powered, making their way through and around trees, decaying logs, and boulders, until they reached their destination. There, with a sense of relief, and perhaps a bit of pride, they placed and dedicated the grave marker for Private Martin P. Bailey (1821-1870), Company B, 5th Kentucky Infantry, CSA. This overgrown parcel of the Daniel Boone National Forest is where Martin and his family lived, farmed, and where he, and others in his family, died at an early age. Who were the men previously referred to as ‘they’? They were some of the most experienced stone-setters in the Camp; Glenn, Richard and David Brown from Letcher County, Faron Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett from Perry County, and Stephen Bowling from Breathitt County. There is no doubt that each man who was there considered it an honor and privilege to be a part of the group and to take part in such a unique effort.
March 18, 2011 – Wolfe County, KY: We wanted to include Morgan County in today’s mission, but the McKinneys advised us that it was still too wet over there to get into some of the cemeteries. So, we left Hazard with a couple of headstones and set out for Hazel Green and Rogers. There, we would find road-side cemeteries with no hills to climb. Turning east at Hazel Green onto Rt. 1010, we made a short drive to the Clark-Cox Cemetery and placed a new Confederate headstone for Private Peter E. Wills (1843 – 1934). He served in Company H of the 5th Kentucky Infantry. He is the fourth Confederate to be honored with military headstones in that cemetery. Heading north, and a little west, we were soon in the Rogers Cemetery. The headstone for Private William C. Cornett (1828 – 1916) was the first Confederate to be placed at this location. Cornett was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion Kentucky Mounted Rifles. After the war, he was widowed and moved about, living with his three daughters in various places. His last days were spent with his daughter, Naomi; she and her husband are buried at William’s side. The privilege of honoring these two men was appreciated by Carlos Brock and Manton Ray Cornett.
February 23, 2011 – Hazard, KY: It takes about two hours to get to Scott County, VA from home, and sometimes that’s the most difficult part of the day. By the time we got to Gate City with out cargo of three Confederate headstones, it was lunch-time, but we didn’t see anything attractive and decided to go to our first destination cemetery and eat later. Near the little town of Snowflake in Scott County, we arrived to find the Godsey Cemetery awash in sunshine and easily accessible. We drove within a few feet of the graves and soon had erected a Confederate headstone for John J. Hager and a flat family marker for his wife, Rhoda Godsey Hager. John J. Hager (1822-1864) and Rhoda were from Floyd County, KY, but he had left home and joined the 22nd VA Cavalry, where he served in Company E as a farrier. Early in 1864, he fell from a moving train in Wythe County, VA and died from his injuries. His wife came to Virginia, gave birth to John J. Jr. a couple of weeks after John’s death, and then died two months later. As a result of her devotion to her husband, Rhoda’s last-born son grew up in Virginia, while the rest of her children grew up in Kentucky. After having lunch at Burger King in Weber City, we turned the corner and went a mile or so to the Wolfe Confederate Cemetery on Yuma Road. We had another Confederate headstone to add to the 54 that we had placed there on previous trips. Having set the stone, Carlos noticed that there was a mistake. The headstone for Private Henry Caudill (1839-1862) was supposed to reflect his service in Company F of the 5th KY Infantry. He would not be happy to know that his headstone now claimed that he served in the 3rd NC Infantry, Company I, so we are in the process of procuring a replacement headstone. We will return. Soon, we arrived at our final destination, the Blountville Cemetery in Sullivan County, TN. In a short time we had placed the headstone for Private Joseph Garvey (1840-1862) next to the graves of 5 of his Confederate comrades. Garvey served in the 4th KY Cavalry, Company C. The trip back to Hazard took a little less time because Jim was doing the driving, and because this time, we listened to the Tom-Tom. Today’s excellent adventure was made possible through the efforts of Carlos Brock, Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett.
February 22, 2011. Historian Sparkman reports new numbers for the website:
- Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set 1,222
- 13th KY. Burial Sites Located 883
- 13th KY. stones set 658
- Diamond’s 10th KY. stones set 103
- Stone locations by County:
- Floyd County 146
- Johnson County 31
- Leslie County 9
- Letcher County 140
- Virginia 112
February 16, 2011 – Whitesburg, KY: Our crew had left Hazard less than an hour earlier with a crew of four and an equal number of Confederate headstones. These four headstones were a small part of the 25 that had accumulated over this long winter. Our research had been rewarded; now, it was time to apply an explanation point to the sentence! At the Sandlick Cemetery, which was originally the Caudill family cemetery, but had become a Confederate burial ground during the war of 1861-1865, Richard and Glenn Brown were awaiting our arrival. We drove close to the Confederate burial sites and set to work. In a little over an hour, we had honored two members of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry. Private Henry G. Combs (1836-1862) was a member of Company C, and Private John W. Tyree (1842-1862) served in Company H. These two men, along with many other Confederates, lost their lives in the Confederate hospital located a short distance from their final resting places.
Leaving Whitesburg, we turned eastward toward Deane in Letcher County. After joining forces with Compatriots Raymond and Annette Isaacs at their home, we shared a very ample lunch at their nearby Dairy Bar, operated by another Compatriot, Danny Taylor.
With Raymond and Annette leading, we placed the two remaining headstones. The first was for Private John C. Hall (1846-1890), who was a member of Company E of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry. His headstone was placed in Annette Isaacs’ family cemetery, the Bates Cemetery on Rt. 7 near Deane. Just a short distance away, and within sight of the Isaacs’ home, we placed the headstone for Private John Anderson (1836-1864). Anderson served in Company D of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry, and his final resting place is in the Baker Cemetery on Rt. 7, also near Deane. We enjoyed our day; especially working with all the other Camp members, but are especially grateful to the members who made the entire journey; Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Jim Osborne, and Manton Ray Cornett.
January 1, 2011- Compatriot Carroll opened 2011 Journal