Journal

Year 2012

December

December 31, 2012 – Compatriot Carroll closed the 2012 Journal

November

November 04, 2012 – Compatriot Manton Ray Cornett publishes article on Daniel Noble – Confederate Mounted Infantryman and US Naval Medal of Honor Awardee

November 04, 2012 – Historian Faron Sparkman reports these updates

  • Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set – 1,320
  • 13th KY. Burial Sites Located – 901
  • 13th KY. Stones Set – 689
  • Breathitt County – 137
  • Carter County – 14
  • Greenup County – 6
  • Johnson County – 34
  • Magoffin County – 15
  • Menifee County – 37
  • Morgan County – 139
  • Wolfe County – 48
  • Ohio – 3
  • Oklahoma – 2
  • Tennessee – 7
  • Virginia – 117

September

September 22, 2012 – Scioto County, OH: The two headstones that we had on board as we left Hazard had been in storage for about 8 months. They might have been placed sooner, but their destinations were just too far away, while others were so much closer to home.

It took 2 hours and 34 minutes of non-stop driving just to get to Greenup, where we met with John and Nancy Bays at the local Arby’s. We were told that the first cemetery we were about to visit would be difficult, so we decided to wait until later to eat. It was probably a wise decision. The English Cemetery in South Shore is located on the west side of Route 8, across from English Drive. Before taking the headstone up the hill, we went on a little scouting trip. We found the cemetery to be in tragic condition. There were a dozen or so well-marked graves, scattered over about a half-acre. The entire cemetery was covered with bushes and briars; so thick that an inscription could only be read when it was close enough to be touched. After satisfying ourselves that we had found every marked grave in the cemetery, we set about marking the grave of Private John M. Hannah (1842 – 1923). He served in Company C of the 2nd Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles. First, we pulled the headstone-laden dolly as far as we could up the hill by hand. Then, we attached the rope and pulley system and pulled it up the steepest part of the slope, which was only another 50 feet. John and his grandson, Jim, did most of the digging and filling around the stone. The job was soon finished, we took a few pictures, and lugged the equipment back down the hill to the truck. Then, it was off to ‘enemy territory’.

We wondered, as we crossed the Ohio River into Portsmouth, if we might be forced to ‘take the oath’ before we would be allowed to place a Confederate headstone in the Greenlawn Cemetery. Just inside the entrance is a stark reminder that this was definitely a part of the war-time Union.

A lone Union picket, clad entirely in blue, stands guard above hundreds of Union graves that are arranged in concentric circles around the statue.

At the other end of the huge cemetery, we found the grave of Private Robert Gibbs (1838 – 1919). We placed his headstone and marked it with a Confederate flag, right next to the headstone of Union soldier William H. Bishop, who served in Company B of the 1st WVA Light Artillery. With the heavy part of the day finished, we followed the Bays family to the McCoy Cemetery, the Prichard Cemetery, the Riverview Cemetery and the Caroline Cemetery, all back on the Kentucky side of the river. We were able to locate and record coordinates for three of the five Confederates we had hoped to find. We also have hopes that we found the grave of a fourth Confederate, even though his gravestone appeared to be missing from his family plot.

It was a beautiful first day of Fall; we felt good about what we had been able to accomplish and very grateful to John and Nancy Bays for their guidance and assistance. And thanks to their grandson, Jim Bays, who was both willing and able, and seemed to know just what to do and when to do it. That was refreshing!

As the Bays took a short drive to their home in Greenup, Faron and I turned south on U. S. 23 for the 2 ½ hour drive back home to Hazard.

Submitted by Manton Ray Cornett

September 13, 2012 – Scott County, VA: It was good to have Carlos back with us as we set out from Hazard on a return trip across Pine Mountain. After all, he had worked long and hard on the research; and, it would have been a shame for him to miss this stone-setting.

On our way to Fort Blackmore, we visited the Corder-Mann Cemetery and recorded the exact location of Private Jonathan O. Corder’s grave. He was a member of the Company E of the 1st Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles, CSA. He has one of those old marble gravestones that is beginning to show its age.

We got to the Flanary Cemetery at Woods, VA around noon, after working our way up the narrow, deeply-rutted driveway to a fairly well-kept cemetery. In the same row with a 64th Virginia Confederate, we placed the marker for First Sergeant Felix Gilbert Creech (1830 -1902). He served for a short time in 1862 in Company D of the 13th KY Cavalry.

Our next stop was at the Craft Cemetery, less than 10 miles away, on the other side of Fort Blackmore. There, we found and marked the grave of Private William H. Craft (1843 – 1885). He was a member of Company E, 3rd Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles, but served earlier in the 1st Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles; and, in 1864, served with the 13th KY Cavalry.

We had planned to visit other cemeteries to record other Confederate grave locations, but once again, we just ran out of time. But, we didn’t get wet, we didn’t get stuck, and we didn’t get chiggers, so it was a very good day. I trust that Faron and Carlos enjoyed the outing as much as I did. Submitted by Manton Ray Cornett

September 8, 2012 – Carter County, KY: It took nearly 2 ½ hours just to get from Hazard to Grayson; just enough time to put the rainy weather behind us. When we pulled into McDonalds, we found John and Nancy Bays waiting inside. They would be our guides to three different cemeteries, located in different outlying parts of Carter County. A descendant also needed direction, so we had to wait a few more minutes for her to arrive. But, we were soon on our way out of town, headed northward. Just north of Grayson, in the community of Pactolus, we left the blacktop and entered the familiar turf of gravel and grass. The road that had been considered dreadful turned out to be a breeze. At the Anglin Cemetery #3, we were pleasantly surprised to meet other descendants who were waiting at the gravesite. The Confederate’s grave had been cleared of all overgrowth and debris; and, in the process, his old, broken family stone had been recovered. After a brief exchange of greetings and salutations, we began to move the stone and equipment to the grave site. The digging was easy and we had soon finished placing the upright granite headstone for Private Thomas Conley (1835 – 1891). He served in Company F of Ben Caudill’s 13th Kentucky Cavalry. A native of Floyd County, he was one of many returning Confederate veterans who made their way northward, in search of a better life. Conley’s descendants expressed their appreciation for our efforts; and, after agreeing to pose for a few pictures, one of them offered us a generous cash contribution toward our cause. It came in the form of $50, contributed by Vickie Evans, a great-great granddaughter of Thomas Conley, who was too ill to attend and witness today’s activity. Rest assured that her generosity will find its way into our Camp’s treasury and will be used to further our efforts on behalf of our Confederate ancestors.

Back in the truck and off the hill, we turned westward toward Lawton. We found Hawk Road, and stopped at the last house for permission to drive through two gates on our way to the Underwood Cemetery. The cemetery was both accessible and fairly well kept. Here, it would be both challenging and rewarding to mark a grave that had apparently never been marked before. William Collinsworth (1837 – 1916) was a Private who served in Company G of Caudill’s 13th Kentucky Cavalry. A Breathitt County native, he was another of our many ancestors who migrated northward during the post-war years.

Our next stop was a short drive away, at the Flat Fork Cemetery near Upper Tygart and next to a beautiful white church with a shiny red roof. A graveled drive encircled the cemetery, which made our work that much easier. Soon, we had the Confederate headstone in place for Private William Hamilton (1842 – 1924). He was a member of the 1st Battalion, Kentucky Mounted Rifles, Company F. A day that began with an 80% chance of rain had been no problem whatsoever. The day just got better and better, and as we finished setting our third stone, the sun began to shine, just as we had hoped. Our digging for the day was done, so we loaded up the tools and drove John and Nancy back to Grayson. We said our farewells to them, they drove away, and we decided to make another plan over some food. While downing burgers and fries, we decided to visit Lindsey Chapel Cemetery, final resting place of Lt. Col. D. J. Caudill, and another cemetery on Rt. 9, both less than ten miles away. We only had to make one U-turn on this quest, and were able to record coordinates for another three Confederates; they were Lt. Hiram Rice, and two brothers; Henry Ellis and Samuel P. Huffman. All three were members of the 5th Kentucky Infantry. We were threatening our curfew by now, so we set the Tom-Tom for “Home” and enjoyed lively conversation the entire way. Faron and I are very grateful to John and Nancy Bays for taking time to be our guides on this productive day, and we especially appreciated the good turnout by the descendants of Private Thomas Conley. We often place these headstones without witnesses, so it is particularly rewarding to meet so many like-minded people, in the right place, at the right time.

Submitted by Manton Ray Cornett

August

August 23, 2012 – West Liberty and Beyond: It would be nice if we could get an earlier start on these trips, but it’s a wonder we’re able to go at all. It was just a few minutes shy of 11 AM when we pulled up behind Harold and Henrietta at McDonald’s in what’s left of West Liberty, KY. We barely had time to grab a biscuit “to go” before falling in behind the McKinneys and heading out of town. By the time we got to the Jenkins Cemetery near Ophir, it was hard to believe that we were still in Morgan County. Thankfully, the cemetery was well-kept and we had ample assistance in finding the targeted grave. The original headstone was dilapidated and totally devoid of inscription; so, it was fortunate for us that the McKinneys and their contacts were there to help identify the grave. In short order, we placed a familiar upright granite Confederate headstone for Private Eli Blevins (1820 – 1900); he served as a Private in Fields Company of the KY Partisan Rangers. We said our good-byes to the McKinneys, did a 180°, and headed west, back through West Liberty and into Wolfe County. This time, we had to find the cemetery without help, but we had already used a combination of GPS and Google Earth technology to narrow the search. On just our second pass, we found the unmarked road where we thought the cemetery might be located. Stopping at the first available house, we met a nice lady who pointed us in the direction of the cemetery and who gave us permission to open the farm gate and drive across the property. The cemetery was in a wooded area that had, over the years, become a shaded refuge for cattle. Faron and Carlos walked into the woods and found, near a pile of bleached bovine bones, three small headstones, each containing the sought-for surname. A few minutes later, we were all astonished when the collapsed and broken headstone of our Confederate veteran was uncovered; just a few yards away from the others. It took more effort than usual to dig in the soil that had been trampled by countless hooves, but we didn’t stop until the job was finished. We left that place, having made the Lackey Cemetery look a bit more like a cemetery, at least. We felt fortunate that we were able to locate the grave of, and place a Confederate marker for, Private John M. Lackey (1838 – 1892). He was a Private in Company A of the 2nd Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles.

Continuing westward, after a couple of brief stops for refreshments, we arrived at Frenchburg in Menifee County. This was at least our fourth visit to the Armitage Cemetery, but one of those trips didn’t “count”, because we were unable to get up the muddy hill. No problem this time, though. We had located the targeted grave on our last visit, so it was just a matter of going through the oft-practiced routine. Private Jacob S. Hackney (1841 – 1892) served in Company B of the 2nd Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles, and his headstone is now in the same row as the Confederate headstones for his two brothers, Andrew T. and Hannibal L., who also served in the 2nd Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles.

If these three new headstones weren’t success enough, we also located and recorded GPS coordinates for five other Confederate graves; all while travelling toward our various destinations.

Thanks to the McKinneys and others who helped us along our way today. This day was both privilege and pleasure for Faron Sparkman, Carlos Brock and Manton Ray Cornett.

August 15, 2012 – Hazard, KY: The weather prognosticators promised a really nice day today, so I was a little surprised when I looked outside at 7:30AM to find a slight, but steadily increasing, drizzle. I had arranged to meet Randall at Manufacturer’s Supply in Hazard at 9:30, and I was beginning to have second thoughts. I turned on the TV, and hoped that I understood what I was seeing. There was one small patch of color hovering over Perry and Breathitt Counties, with another larger patch of color off to the west, around London and Somerset. I figured that it would all be over by the time we got to the Strong Cemetery at the mouth of Lost Creek in Breathitt County. So, a little after 9, I set out, in the midst of a downpour. On the way to Hazard, it got even worse, with a wind driving the downpour. There was water everywhere, gushing from the hillsides and into flooded ditch-lines. Right before I got to Manufacturers’, I saw one car in the ditch; probably a victim of hydroplaning…

Undaunted, Randall climbed in with me and we set off toward Breathitt County. The further we went, the better things looked. By the time we got to the cemetery, there were just a few sprinkles, which were easily ignored.

In less than an hour, we had the Confederate headstone placed for Private John L. Duff (1848 – 1885), Kash’s Company, 13th KY Cavalry. We even had time to take another browse around the historic cemetery, where the earliest deaths date from the late 1700’s, and where many of Randall’s Haddix ancestors are buried.

As we headed back toward Hazard, we were mighty glad that we trusted the latest weather report, and that we had been privileged to honor yet another Confederate veteran.

Submitted by Manton Ray Cornett

August 14, 2012 – On the Road: Returning from a weekend in New York City, our former Commander and long-time Camp Historian, Faron Sparkman, took an extended side trip, and I was privileged to take part, without even leaving the comforts of home.

You see, Faron has taken it upon himself to determine and record the exact latitude and longitude of each and every man who served in the 13th Kentucky Cavalry. No, that’s not exactly right. He has extended the task to also include those men who served in other Confederate Units; including: the 1st Bttn. KY Mtd. Rifles, 1st KY Cavalry, 2nd Bttn. KY Cavalry, 2nd Bttn. KY Mtd. Rifles, 2nd KY Cavalry, 3rd Bttn. KY Mtd. Rifles, 4th KY Cavalry, 5th KY Infantry, 9th KY Cavalry, Diamond’s 10th KY Cavalry, Jesse’s Bttn., and Fields Company, KY Partisan Rangers!

Now, this may sound like “Mission Impossible”, but don’t try telling Faron that. He has a long list of names of the men who are known to have served in one or more of these Confederate units, and, thanks to some extensive research, he has a pretty good idea where they are buried. But, his goal is to use GPS technology to record their exact locations so that it won’t matter if a grave is right beside a main highway, in the head of a holler, on a hill-top that’s surrounded by uninhabitable strip-mines. With the correct coordinates, anyone with Google Earth and a GPS device should be able to go directly to whatever grave they might be seeking.

Before my late-morning breakfast had settled, Faron called with a report from Peewee Valley in Oldham County. Many of our older Confederates who survived the war spent their final days in the Pewee Valley home and were buried in the cemetery nearby. Using his list of veterans’ names, Faron had just finished recording the locations of 34 graves. And now, he wanted to explore nearby Henry County to look for more.

We conversed back and forth all afternoon; and before the day was over, Faron had travelled over a good portion of Henry County, visited several small towns (some twice), and found six different cemeteries with Confederate graves. Being the patient man that he is, he only got frustrated once; when he found three of four graves that he was searching for in the Pleasureville Cemetery, but was unable to find the fourth!

Using Google Earth and GPS technology, combined with dogged determination, Faron recorded the exact locations of 50 Confederate graves in a single day.

His final request from the field was for the location of a specific restaurant near Lexington, where he wished to satisfy his increasing hunger with a recently-concocted ‘burger affectionately known as the “Hunka Burnin’ Love”. At last report, he had survived the meal and was passing through Winchester, heading for Hazard.

As long as we have men like Faron around, our Confederate Heritage will be alive and well. Thanks, Faron.

Submitted by Manton Ray Cornett

June

June 27, 2012 – Trent, KY: It was good to have Carlos back on duty today as he navigated us to the Honeyville Cemetery in Wolfe County. Before noon, we had located and marked the grave of Private Silas Creech (1830-1891) with his new Confederate headstone. He was a 13th KY Cavalryman who served in Company G. Assisting Carlos Brock in today’s brief adventure were Randall Haddix, Willis Strong and Manton Ray Cornett.

June 21, 2012 – Ashcamp, KY: Our monthly Camp meeting was held on a hillside near the mouth of Marion Branch in Pike County. Prior to the meeting, we performed a dedication ceremony in the George W. Francisco Cemetery. We honored five Confederates who are buried there and two others who have “In Memory of” headstones, but whose remains remain unmarked after dying as POW at Camp Morton in Indiana.

An impressive number of descendants turned out for the event, and we were honored to have a contingent from the UDC on hand. Their mourning dresses reminded us that these fallen Confederates were not just soldiers; but, husbands, fathers, and sons. Prior to the ceremony, each Confederate grave had been marked with a battle flag provided by Compatriot Anthony Hawkins.

Commander Richard Smith presided over the ceremony. After Chaplin Lawrence Cook gave the invocation, Smith welcomed everyone and then read a brief eulogy of each man being honored: 2LT George W. Francisco, Co. C, 7th Btn. Confed. Cav.; PVT James H. Gilliam, Scott Co., VA Militia; PVT Hiram Cantrell, Co. C, 7th Btn. Confed. Cav.; SGT James McPeek, Co. C, 7th Confed. Cav.; PVT John Gibson, Co. F, 5th KY Inf.; CPL Alfred Hall, Co. E, (Caudill’s) 10th KY Cav.; and PVT Lewis Hall, Co. E, (Caudill’s) 10th KY Cav. The two Halls died at Camp Morton and were buried there in unmarked graves. Randall Haddix read two passages from the Chaplin’s’ Handbook: “These Stones” and “Better to Have Loved and Lost”, passages that inspire us to locate and honor our ancestors graves and to continue to be proud of their Confederate service.

A 21-gun salute was rendered by Camp members Richard Brown, Wendell Brown, Quentin Childers, Manton Ray Cornett, Raymond Isaacs, Garland Kiser, Willis Strong, Buster Whitt, and guest Greg Swartz. Each volley was echoed by cannon fire provided by Oakie Blair and Kenny Cantrell.

At the end of the salute, the only sound to be heard was the old, familiar “Taps”; performed by Compatriot Glenn Brown. After Chaplin Cook gave the benediction, the descendants and the Camp members lingered awhile among the headstones; taking pictures, exchanging pleasantries, and making new acquaintances.

June 20, 2012 – Redbush, KY: We needed help today to find the Salyer Cemetery in Johnson County. So, we arranged to meet Greg Swartz at his home and he led the way on his 4-wheeler. It turns out that it was one of the easiest jobs we’d undertaken in some time. The graveled road formed a loop around the hillside cemetery, and we were able to drive and park above the grave and simply roll the dolly down to the headstone’s final resting place. A large oak tree in the cemetery still bore many scars from the tornadic March winds. Due to a long dry spell, the ground was hard as rock; we had to use the steel bar to make it easier on the post-hole digger. It took but a short time to complete the task of honoring yet another Confederate veteran. Marshall L. Salyer (1829-1924) was a Private in Field’s Company of the KY Partisan Rangers. Today’s outing was shared and enjoyed by Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Manton Ray Cornett and our guide, Greg “Raven” Swartz.

June 10, 2012

Historian Faron Sparkman reports the following update on stone setting:

  • Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set – 1,306
  • 5th KY. Inf. Stones Set – 376
  • Stone Locations:
  • Bourbon – 1
  • Carter – 11
  • Menifee – 36
  • Morgan – 138
  • Wolfe – 47
  • Virginia – 115

June 7, 2012 – Maytown & Frenchburg, KY: After an early disappointment at Manufacturers’ Supply, the rest of the day couldn’t have gone more perfectly. We had planned to set three Confederate headstones in the Armitage Cemetery at Frenchburg, but Faron noticed that the first one we’d put on the truck had a serious error; the death date was off by about 30 years! These things happen from time to time; so, we just unloaded it and will have to trust the V. A. to provide a replacement after we show them the evidence.

Around 10AM, we set out for Ezel, where Harold and Henrietta McKinney were waiting with directions to our first destination. It was a short drive in the direction of Maytown to the Pieratt Cemetery. It was a relief to be able to drive right up to the edge of the cemetery; so, we were able to get busy right away. It didn’t take long to mark the previously unmarked grave of Private John T. Sexton (1841-1910). He served in Company H of the 5th KY Infantry. A vibrant young American holly tree casts its shadow across his grave; a beautiful companion for decades to come. Our biggest task was still before us; to get up that steep hill to the Armitage Cemetery in Frenchburg. The county judge had promised to help us with an end-loader if we couldn’t make the climb, but we hoped we wouldn’t have to call on him. We bid the McKinneys farewell, got a quick snack in Ezel, and hit the road for Frenchburg.

We walked the hill to the Armitage Cemetery and were relieved to find the road much more passable than when we got stuck on our last attempt. Not only did the truck make the climb without a hitch, but Willis also drove up in his SUV. This cemetery’s remoteness is apparent in the lack of decorations, even though Memorial Day was only a week or so ago. The only sign of visitors were a few American Flags, and the only flowers were nature’s own; the entire cemetery was covered with ox-eye daisies.

While Faron and Carlos determined the exact spots where the headstones were to be placed, the rest of the crew unloaded the truck and were soon busy digging the first hole. It wasn’t long until Hannibal L. Hackney (1839-1888) and Andrew T. Hackney (1843-1886) had their new Confederate headstones, and we were ready for pictures. Both men were privates in Company B of the 2nd Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles.

On the way back to Hazard, we stopped at the Egelston Cemetery, about 4 miles south of Frenchburg on Rt. 77. We visited a couple of Confederate graves that had been previously marked, found that one required cleaning and straightening, and then headed on home. We ignored the Tom-Tom and took the long way home through the cool, green confines of the Red River Gorge. This outstanding day was enjoyed by a larger than usual crew consisting of Faron Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix, Willis Strong, little Adam Barnes, and Manton Ray Cornett.

May

May 17, 2012 – Redfox & Whitesburg, KY: This was the scheduled date for our regular monthly meeting of the Ben Caudill Camp, but it was agreed at our April meeting that we would combine our business meeting with the dedication of two cemeteries.

We began to gather at the Childers Cemetery around 5:30, anticipating a starting time of 6PM. When the appointed hour arrived, we had assembled a pretty impressive group. We were determined to honor the headstones that had been placed there a few years ago for Revolutionary veteran Abraham Childers, his son, Confederate Goolsby Childers, and Goolsby’s two Confederate sons, Abraham “Abram” and James Lance.

Commander Richard Smith opened the dedication with a welcome and Chaplin Lawrence Cook gave the Invocation. While Commander Smith read the eulogies of each man, Carlos Brock placed an American flag on the Revolutionary’s grave and Confederate flags on the graves of Abraham’s three descendants.

Then, the firing line was called to attention, and the nine men in the line, commanded by Lt. Commander Manton Cornett, gave a 21 gun salute. The nine Compatriots who took part in the firing line for this dedication, and the one that would follow, included Raymond Isaacs, Wendell Brown, Richard Brown, Willis Strong, Quenton Childers, Buster Whitt, Garland Kiser, Leathan Whitaker, and Anthony Hawkins. Each time the line fired a volley, it was echoed by Okie Blair, by firing his miniature cannon. At the end of the salute, the familiar haunting and solemn refrain of “Taps” was offered up by Compatriot Glenn Brown. Finally, Randall Haddix read two passages from the Chaplain’s Handbook regarding “These Stones” and “Better to Have Loved”, after which Chaplin Cook gave the Benediction.

From Redfox, we moved quickly to the Sandlick Cemetery, and at 7PM, the second dedication began. The program was repeated, with some exceptions. At Sandlick, there were a total of 29 headstones to be dedicated, and Carlos Brock had the honor of reading each eulogy. As he moved from one headstone to the next, he was accompanied by two lovely ladies, Raymond Isaacs’ daughter and Leathan Whitaker’s wife, who placed Confederate flags near each headstone.

May 3, 2012 – Paris, KY: It was another easy day, spent mostly in the truck, driving to and fro. By eastern KY standards, the Paris Cemetery is immense; and, it would take hours just to walk over the entire grounds. We had just one headstone to place, and it was reassuring to know that Faron had scouted out the territory before ordering the headstone.

We went straight to Section L and, while the truck was being unloaded, Faron re-located the grave. We placed the headstone for Third Sergeant Robert Trimble Arnold (1838 – 1914), who served in Company C of the First Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles. His final resting place lies among those of his ancestors and many of his family contemporaries.

We had a little spare time, so we spent most of it walking and driving about the cemetery, trying to locate the graves of other Confederates. We found the very impressive limestone and marble Confederate monument, and the graves of several Confederates. We found the grave of a 13th man, Private Hugh William Rogers, a Fayette County man who was wounded and spent time as a POW during the war. We also visited the grave of the commander of the 3rd Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles, Lt. Col. Ezekiel Field Clay. He was wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of Puncheon in eastern KY; his wound resulted in the loss of his right eye. He survived the war and became very successful as a horse-breeder. This cousin of statesman Henry Clay and nephew of Cassius Marcellus Clay became known as “Zeke of Runnymede” and produced two Kentucky Derby winners; first in 1896 and again in 1905. His Ben Brush was the first Derby winner to wear the now traditional garland of roses. It had been another good day; the weather was fine, the digging was easy and the research had been rewarding. This excellent adventure, including the food at Fazoli’s, was shared and enjoyed by Faron Sparkman and Manton Ray Cornett.

April 18, 2012 – Grayson, KY: It was a long drive from Hazard to the Lindsey Chapel Cemetery in Carter County; but, as usual, the three of us broke up the trip by grabbing a biscuit at Hardee’s in Jackson.

The rest of the trip was pleasant and uneventful; we arrived at the cemetery around noon. Before we started working, we paid our respects to Lieutenant Colonel David J. Caudill, veteran of the 37th VA, 5th KY, and 13th KY Cavalry. By today’s standards, he would have been well-decorated since he was second in command to Colonel Benjamin E. Caudill, was wounded at Leatherwood, and even spent some time as a POW. He did survive the war and lived until the age of 67.

The first headstone we placed was about 30 yards from Lt. Col. Caudill’s grave. It was for Private James O’Banion (1844 – 1912), a man who served in Company E of the 1st Battalion, KY Mounted Rifles. We then moved on to the grave of Private Aaron Huffman (1841 – 1915). He was a member of Company C of the 5th KY Infantry; and, his grave and headstone are just a few feet behind Lt. Col. Caudill’s.

The digging was easy, it didn’t rain, and we were soon on the road, headed for home. Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett were happy to have made this difference.

April

April 7 & April 11, 2012 – Hazard KY: We had to make two trips, in opposite directions, to put this latest adventure to rest. It all began several months ago when Carlos attempted to get a headstone for a Confederate veteran in Wolfe Co. He was turned down by V. A.; they claimed that the veteran already had a marker issued and it was placed, not by the Ben Caudill Camp, in Wise Co., VA. Soon, Carlos discovered that there were two, or more, men who had the same name, but served in different units. The stone that had been placed in VA had correct dates, but had the rank and unit of the man who was unmarked in Wolfe Co., KY. It took a few months to convince V. A., but as of today, it has been resolved.

On Saturday, we loaded up two headstones and headed for Morgan County, where we met Harold and Henrietta McKinney at Ezel. After a short ride into the countryside, we got to the Claypool Cemetery. Private Jeremiah B. Claypool (1827 – 1908), who served in Company F of the 6th Confederate Cavalry, soon had his grave marked with his new Confederate headstone. Now back to the resolution of the previously mentioned confusion.

We said our good-byes to the McKinneys; they headed for home and we headed for Wolfe County. A few miles from Rogers, we parked across the road from the Creech Cemetery and started unloading the headstone and our tools. On a little rise above the road were a couple of dozen graves, some clearly marked and some marked only with field stones. One such grave belonged to First Lieutenant Jonathan Creech; and this grave had gotten Carlos started on his months-long adventure. Lt. Creech (1831 – 1918) served in Company H of the 64th Virginia Cavalry, after he served as a Private and Sergeant in the 50th Virginia Infantry. There to help us set the stone was the Lieutenant’s descendant, Mr. Dennis Creech. Before we could even get the stone into the cemetery, Dennis had finished digging the hole. After the stone was in place, we were loading the tools when Mr. Joe Wells, another descendant, arrived on the scene. We would have enjoyed staying and chatting with these fine gentlemen, but we had another cemetery to look for in Menifee County. We may have more to say about that some other time.

Four days later, we were headed for Wise County, VA with the headstone for the other Jonathan Creech on board. None of us had ever been to the Collier Cemetery in Powell Valley near Big Stone Gap, so we used Tom-Tom to guide us there. We were about a hundred yards from our final turn when we spotted Buster Whitt, a Ben Caudill Camp member who lives in the area and who was very instrumental in the efforts to obtain this headstone. He had visited the cemetery and taken pictures of the grave; and, he had taken the application to the landowner for the required signature and then returned it to us. We drove through the cattle gate and past a few cows; right up to the cemetery, which was sheltered by a piney woodlot. Sure enough, there was the Confederate headstone with its erroneous information. It didn’t take long to make the exchange. Private (not Lieutenant) Jonathan Creech (1839 – 1913) served in Company K (not Company H) of the 7th Battalion Confederate Cavalry (not the 64th Virginia Cavalry).

Finally, there appears to be yet another Jonathan Creech from southwest Virginia who served in the Confederate Army. Maybe someday Carlos will find him!

There are a lot of people to thank; the McKinney’s for their help with Private Claypool, Dennis Creech and Joe Wells for their assistance with Lt. Creech, and Dr. Lawrence Fleenor and Buster Whitt for helping us with Pvt. Creech. And, of course, these two trips were enjoyed to the fullest by Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett.

March

March 31, 2012 – Historian Faron Sparkman reports updated stone numbers:

  • Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set – 1,297
  • 13th KY. Cav. Burial Sites Located – 898
  • 13th KY. Cav. Stones Set – 684
  • 5th KY. Inf. Stones Set – 374
  • Diamond’s 10th KY. Cav. Stones Set – 105
  • Stone Locations:
  • Floyd County – 148
  • Letcher County – 173
  • Morgan County – 136
  • Rowan County – 27
  • Wolfe County – 46

March 22, 2012 – Hazard, KY: Having left Manufacturers’ Supply with a crew of three, a full load of four headstones and all the necessary ingredients for a successful day, we made a brief stop in Jackson for breakfast. Back on board, Carlos called Henrietta and gave her our ETA for Ezel, in Morgan County. We arrived, right on time, just as Mr. Tom-Tom had predicted. Henrietta and Harold McKinney were waiting in the cemetery, along with several descendants of the man we were about to honor. We unloaded the truck, located the grave and went right to work. In a matter of a few minutes the descendants helped us drop the headstone into the ground so we could complete the setting. Then, the descendants posed for pictures with their ancestor’s new Confederate headstone. The man who earned the headstone was Private William F. Adams (1843 – 1911); he served in Company F of the 5th KY Infantry. He is one of a dozen or more Confederates who have been so honored in the Ezel Cemetery. Staying in Morgan County, the McKinney’s escorted us to the cemeteries at Caney and West Liberty where we placed headstones for Sgt. John C. Lykins (1816 – 1893) and Private Robert F. Caskey (1833 – 1912), respectively. Lykins served in Company A of the 5th KY Infantry while Caskey was a member of Company B of the 1st Battalion KY Mounted Rifles. From West Liberty, we made a substantially longer drive into Rowan County and found the cemetery on the northwest side of Morehead. It didn’t take long to find the grave of Private Lilburn Haney (1839 – 1904). He also served in the 5th KY Infantry, Company A. We finished our work as quickly and effectively as possible, because evening was rapidly approaching, and we were nearly two hours from home. Bidding the McKinney’s a fond farewell; we loaded up the truck and headed for Hazard. This full day was shared and enjoyed by Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett. We are very grateful to the McKinneys; without their guidance, we might still be out there looking for the cemeteries. We also appreciate the descendants of William F. Adams for taking time to honor the occasion with their presence.

March 10, 2012 – Wolfe County, KY: It’s not that far from Hazard to Campton, but it’s really hard to get through Jackson without stopping for coffee and a biscuit. After Faron got his coffee and Randall enjoyed his pipe, we drove straight through Campton to the final resting place of Private Morgan B. Hammond (1837 – 1862). He served briefly in Company A of the 2nd Battalion KY Mounted Rifles and then returned to his home. Tragically, he and his entire family soon fell victim to disease. Their graves were marked with hand-chiseled stones, which have long since faded into obscurity. Now, thanks to Morgan’s new Confederate headstone, this family has regained its identity.

On the other side of the county, on Big Andy Ridge, we had to have a little help from the kindness of a local resident to find the Cox Cemetery. It was about 50 yards off the highway and we literally had to bush-whack our way to the grave. Private Joel S. Cox (1835 – 1918) was a member of Company E of the 2nd Battalion KY Mounted Rifles. His grave is next to his wife’s grave, in the middle of a family cemetery that is rapidly returning to Nature.

The rest of our time was devoted to visiting other cemeteries in Wolfe County, getting coordinates for marked Confederates and investigating potential candidates. As we made our way back to Hazard, the four of us were already making plans for our next outing. This beautiful spring-like day was shared and enjoyed by Faron Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett.

February

February 9, 2012 – Mayking, KY: It had been anything but a “long dry spell” but it had been quite a while since we’d been able to place a Confederate headstone. Today was dry and the winds were still, even though the temperature never got above the 30’s. Luckily, we had just one headstone to be placed in this direction.

We did a little field research while waiting for the best part of the day to place the headstone. That took us into Pike County, where we shuttled back and forth between Jonancy and Dorton, searching out cemeteries where our Confederate veterans might be resting. And then, it was back to Mayking and the Webb Cemetery. There, we quickly placed a new marble headstone for Private John Adams (1826-1863), a man who served in Company H of the 13th KY Cavalry. His headstone can now be found, at the back of the cemetery, among many of his Adam’s relatives.

Today’s refreshingly pleasant experience was shared by Carlos Brock and Manton Ray Cornett.

January

1 January 2012 — Happy New Year! Compatriot Carroll opened the 2012 Journal.