30 August 2008

Baton Rouge National Cemetery

There's a great photo and some trivia about Baton Rouge National Cemetery (Louisiana) over at teladair's photostream.

27 August 2008

Here Rests the Body of Col. William Rhett

St. Philip's Church Cemetery has one more individual interred that I would like to jot down a few notes about. The following is from The Founders: Portraits of Persons Born Abroad Who Came to the Colonies in North America Before the Year 1701 by Charles Knowles Bolton.

"Colonel William Rhett was born, it is said, 4 September 1666 in London, although no trace of him can be found there in the accessible printed records. He seems to have been captain of a merchantman in early life, and made his home at Brentwood, County Essex. There he was married, 1 September 1692, to Sarah Cooke. The family arrived in South Carolina in November 1694...Colonel Rhett died 12 January 1722, when on the point of leaving Charleston to be Governor of the Bahamas.

...Rhet was colonel of the Provincial Militia, receiver general of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, surveyor and comptroller of customs for Carolina and the Bahama Islands. When in command of the colony ships, in 1706, he repelled a French and Spanish squadron [an attack on Charleston], and in 1718 he captured the famous pirate, Major Stede Bonnet, after a brilliant but bloody encounter at Cape Fear. Bonnet's ship, the Royal James, and Rhett's flagship, the Henry, were both aground, careening in the same direction. The deck of the pirate ship was protected, but the Henry's deck was in full view od the pirates, and was swept by cannon and pistol fire for five hours. 'Rhett was,' wrote McCrady, 'of violent and domineering disposition, but his repeated and signal services to the colony demanded its gratitude and respect.'"

Rhett's gravestone in St. Philip's Church Cemetery reads as follows:

In hopes of a joyful Resurrection
Here rests the body of
Col. William Rhett
Late of this Parish,
Principall Officer of his Majesties Customs
in this Province:
He was a Person that on all occasions promoted
the Publick good of this Colony, and severall
times generously and successfully ventured his
Life in defense of the same.
He was a kind Husband,
A tender Father,
A faithful Friend,
A charitable Neighbor,
A Religious constant worshipper of God.
He was born in London
4th Sept 1666,
Arrived and settled this Country
19th Novembr 1694,
And dyed suddenly but not unprepared
12th Janry 1722
In the fifty seventh year of his age.

Rest in peace, Colonel Rhett.

From the Life of General Thomas Pinckney

Since my visit to Charleston, South Carolina and St. Philip's Church Cemetery, I have learned a little more about Major General Thomas Pinckney. What a fascinating life he led. Want to know more about him? Read on!

General Thomas Pinckney's grandfather (Thomas Pinckney) came to South Carolina and made it his home in 1692. His wife was Mary Cotesworth. Thomas built a house at the corner of East Bay and Tradd Street in Charleston. He had full view of the harbor. He died in this home of yellow fever.

General Thomas Pinckney's father, Charles Pinckney, was educated in England and became a successful lawyer upon returning to Carolina. He accumulated a large fortune, and was Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1736-1740. Charles married Elizabeth Lucas in 1744. This marriage produced our subject in 1750.

Thomas Pinckney was educated for 19 years in England at Westminster, Oxford. He read Greek fluently to the end of his life. In 1774, Thomas was admitted to the Charleston bar.

Pinckney's law career was interrupted, however, by South Carolina's preparation for the American Revolution. A volunteer company of rangers was formed in April 1775 in which Thomas was appointed a lieutenant. Soon after Lexington, two regiments were formed to defend the colony. Thomas Pinckney was named a captain. His company, part of the 1st regiment, was assigned to duty at Fort Johnson, on the southern shore of Charleston's harbor.

After the first attempt by the British to fire on Fort Sullivan, and the fort being successfully defended, Pinckney and the 1st regiment were moved there in August 1776. This would remain his headquarters for three years.

The following is taken from The Life of General Thomas Pinckney by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, his grandson:
Captain Pinckney's reputation for handling troops was such that he was often detailed for special duty as instructor in military science. During the first three years of the war he was thus employed along the coast, as far south as Pocotaligo and Purisburg. On one of these tours an incident occurred which marked his firmness and decision of character. It was known to the military authorities that British emissaries from Georgia had visited certain posts, and tampered with the men. During his visit to one of these stations a mutiny broke out among the troops. The company on parade refused to obey orders, threw down their arms, and defied their officers. Persuasion, upbraiding, threats, proved alike unavailing, and the officers seemed about to give up the contest. Captain Pinckney, watching the situation from an adjoining house, saw that the time for parley had passed. Taking his sabre in his hand he entered the angry group, approached the ringleader, and cut him down at a blow. Ordering the company to resume their arms, and fall into ranks, he carried them through the interrupted drill, and turned them over to their officers in a far more submissive spirit than they had manifested. No man could be more averse to assume authority than one of Thomas Pinckney's temperament; he could exercise it promptly when duty required.
In 1778, the now Major Thomas Pinckney, with the joined forces of South Carolina and Georgia, went to help protect those frontiers from the English stationed in Florida.

In 1779, Major Pinckney took part in the battle of Stono Ferry. He was 2nd in command of the light artillery. "Major Pinckney gained great applause for his gallant conduct on this day. The battalion to which he was attached charged two companies of the 71st British regiment, and so completely routed them at the point of the bayonet, that only nine men were able to take shelter within their lines."

During the Siege of Charleston, Pinckney was stationed at the Horn redoubt, a mason fortification built along King Street. A piece of it still remains today.

After Charleston fell, Pinckney went north and offered his services to Washington. Congress took active measures to recover South Carolina from British rule and ordered troops to be raised for this purpose. Pinckney was aide to the commander of these troops. Major Pinckney was severely wounded in the Camden battle. An old schoolfellow found him and had him removed with the wounded British soldiers. Mrs. Pinckney was summoned to care for her husband after the British retreated. When his wound was somewhat healed, Major Pinckney was a prisoner of war for more than a year, after which he was exchanged.

As soon as peace was restored, Major Pinckney resumed the practice of law in Charleston. In 1787 he was elected Governor of the state.

In 1791, Major Pinckney was given the position of minister to London. In 1795, he achieved a treaty with Spain that gave the United States free navigation of the Mississippi River. Later, Pinckney served two terms in Congress, ending in 1801. For the next decade, Thomas Pinckney had the life he loved, that of a Carolina planter.

For the War of 1812, Thomas Pinckney was appointed Major General of the southern half of the United States. His command extended from the southern borders of Virginia to the Mississippi, including North and South Carolina, Georgia, and the Indian Territory (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana).

Following the war, Pinckney spent the remainder of his days in agriculture.

Proudly serving your country was a trait Pinckney passed down to his three sons. The three swords which General Pinckney used in the American Revolution and War of 1812 were bequeathed to them with the requirement that "they never be drawn in any private quarrel, and never remain in their scabbards when their country demanded their service." Fourteen of Pinckney's descendants served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Thomas Pinckney died 2 November 1828. A large military and citizen group followed his body in the procession from his house on Legare Street to St. Philip's Church and cemetery.

In addition to the above-mentioned The Life of General Thomas Pinckney, another book is available for the study of Thomas and the rest of the Pinckney family. It is Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys by George C. Rogers. It is "a look at the rise and decline of the Pinckney family whose members were present at every major point in Charleston's history."

26 August 2008

Maplewood & Other Graves County, Kentucky Cemeteries

I heard about Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfeld, Graves County, Kentucky from Susan at Life in a Box. She wrote a nice entry about the cemetery and some of its more infamous stones. One in particluar is the "procession which never moves." It's the WOOLRIDGE family plot in which every member is represented by a statue. I would love to see it.

After following a link Susan provided in her entry to the City of Mayfield website, I was happy to find more information on Maplewood Cemetery. What was even more exciting was the other burial records and cemetery information they have. Onsite, they have records for Maplewood, Highland Park, and Oak Rest cemeteries. Furthermore, they link to a page listing all the cemeteries in Graves County as well as their locations. Very nice.

24 August 2008

St. Philip's Church Cemetery

St. Philip's Church Cemetery Entrance I just finished creating a page on the Southern Graves website for St. Philip's Church Cemetery. This beautiful cemetery was established in 1680, and it is located on Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina's historic downtown. I've included a short video with the church bells ringing in the background, several transcriptions, and several photos of the church, cemetery, and gravestones.

I also made some contributions to FindAGrave from this cemetery.

Check 'em out!

Are Historic Houston Graves in Jeopardy?

Good story at khou.com about College Park Memorial Cemetery in Houston, Texas. This cemetery was established in 1897 and was a burial ground for slaves and their descendents.

21 August 2008

Henderson Spring Road Cemetery

Henderson Spring Road Cemetery is now online. It is located in Elko, Houston County, Georgia. I found out about this cemetery from a local resident who knew it as Springhill Church Cemetery. The church is long gone as far as I can tell, and the cemetery is not entirely kept up. It is, I must add, in a beautiful spot. The open part is under a huge tree. The farther in you go, it becomes more overgrown. Parts are under a couple of trees with a lot of moss hanging down. Very pretty.

A sad part about this cemetery is the many, many unknown burials. Some of these graves are marked only by mounds of dirt. On the page I set up for this cemetery, you will find a video showing this.

In addition to the unknown burials video, I have a 360° pan video, transcriptions of the stones, and more photos. Please stop by and take a look.
~~> Henderson Spring Road Cemetery <~~ Southern Graves Home

19 August 2008

Robertson Stone Cemetery

A great article entitled Restoration of Northport Cemetery Reveals Stories About Past Residents is online. It is about the restoration of Robertson Stone Cemetery in Northport, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. It includes a video of the some of the cleaning and interviews with the individuals leading the project.

17 August 2008

Lowe Plantation Owners in Beech Springs Cemetery

When I visit a cemetery, I am often struck by a particular stone I find. It might be an interesting quote, a somewhat fancy stone, a name that is vaguely familiar, or nothing in particular at all. This happened at Beech Springs Methodist Church Cemetery in Bullard, Twiggs County, Georgia. Thomas Lowe and his wife Cornelia Ann Mims piqued my interest. The following is what I found out about them.

From History of Twiggs County, Georgia Sesquicentennial (1809-1959) by J. Lanette O'Neal Faulk and posted to the MIMS Mailing List by Jeanne Filice:
Thomas Lowe was born December 26, 1826, and died January 17, 1880 at his home in Bullard. He married Cornelia Ann Mims. She was born in Edgefield, South Carolina July 26, 1829, daughter of Martin and Charlsie Ferguson Mims.

Children of Thomas & Cornelia:
1. William T. (1853-1873)
2. Julia Augusta (married William Andrews)
3. John Thomas (1855-1883)
4. E. Martin (1858-1885)
5. John (1862-1869)
6. Thomas (1864-1950)
7. Cornelia Elizabeth (1866-1882)
8. John Mims (1870-1955)
9. Mary Jones (1871-1965; married William Warren Johnston)

The Lowe Plantation, located in the Bullard Community, was one of the most productive in Twiggs county. In 1862, Thomas enlisted in the Confederate States Army as a private in Company I, 5th Georgia Regiment. He was wounded in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina and remained crippled the rest of his life. Thomas and Cornelia were charter members of Beech Springs Methodist Church. After his death, Cornelia ran the plantation with her sons. She lived to see her 11th grandchild. (Written by granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Johnston Ray of Macon, Georgia.)

Some of Thomas and Cornelia's children are also buried in Beech Springs Cemetery. They include E. Martin, John "Johnnie", Cornelia Elizabeth "Mitt," and Mary Jones.

I also came across an obituary for Cornelia Ann Mims Lowe. Interestingly enough, the death date on her gravestone might be incorrect. Mr. Jim Carroll posted a transcription of her obituary to the Twiggs County, GA GenWeb Archives and states it is from the Macon Daily Telegraph dated 30 August 1910. The death date on her stone is 1911.
Mrs. Cornelia Lowe, of Twiggs County, is Dead

Was Eighty-Two Years Old and had Lived in Neighboring County for Full Sixty Years

Mrs. Cornelia Lowe, widow of Thomas Lowe, died yesterday at the residence of W. W. Johnston, Bullards, GA at 1 o'clock.

Mrs. Lowe has been a resident of Twiggs County for the past sixty years. She is survived by three children, Thomas Lowe of Gresston, GA; John M. Lowe of Bainbridge, and Mrs. W. W. Johnston, of Bullards, GA.

Mrs. Lowe was eighty-two years of age at the time of her death and was universally beloved by the community where she has so long been identified.

The funeral services will be held at Beach Spring, at 12 noon Tuesday, Rev. A. S. Adams of Jeffersonville will conduct the service. Interment at Beach Spring Cemetery.

Well, there you have it. Some information on the Lowe Plantation owners buried in Beech Springs Methodist Church Cemetery. I don't know why, but I was compelled to write about them. Maybe Cornelia wanted me to get the word out about her death date. ;-)

16 August 2008

Beech Springs Methodist Church Cemetery

I have made some contributions to FindAGrave from the Beech Springs Methodist Church Cemetery in Bullard, Twiggs County, Georgia. Items include transciptions and photos. Surnames include BULLARD, COOK, GOODWIN, GRESHAM, JOHNSTON, LOWE, MCCORMICK, and RAMEY.

According to "New Georgia Encyclopedia," Bullard was first the site of a steamboat landing on the Ocmulgee River. It later became Bullard Depot on the Southern Railway. According to "Towns & Communities of Twiggs County, Georgia," this town was named after the Daniel Bullard family.

Following is a video of Beech Springs Methodist Church Cemetery:

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