25 February 2010

Pvt. Henry Chaple Survived Andersonville

Pvt. Henry Chaple survived Andersonville. His brother did not.

Brothers Henry and Alfred Chaple were members of Company D of the New York Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War. They were both captured by the Confederate Army at Plymouth, North Carolina in April 1864 and sent to Andersonville, Georgia. There, a military prison designed to hold 10,000 POWs had just opened months before. By August of 1864, when Henry's brother Alfred died of diarrhea, the number of union soldier inmates was approximately 32,000.

I'm not sure how, but Henry Chaple survived Andersonville. He died 15 April 1930 and was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia -- where the "Yanks and Rebs rest together."

See also >> My Journey to Visit the Brother that Did Not Survive.

The Forgotten Ones

Unfortunately, I could show you far too many photos from "forgotten cemeteries," the topic for the latest Graveyard Rabbit Carnival. To be fair, most of the cemeteries I come across can actually more accurately be described as containing forgotten individuals.

This photo shows what the area surrounding a cemetery in my part of the country often looks like. It is more common to find a cemetery that was once on family land or attached to a church rather than a large perpetual care cemetery. Especially if you find yourself traveling in rural areas away from any sizable town. These cemeteries are not always abandoned, though. They are sometimes still in use. It's just that not every burial site within the cemetery is visited or taken care of.

This is New Bethel Cemetery. It is located near Emerich in Dooly County, Georgia. Until yesterday, I had never heard of Emerich. It is on the map, however. Many parts of this cemetery are quite overgrown. There are many graves, however, that are obviously well tended. Those gravestones are freshly painted (a practice I wish people would stop doing, as it damages the stone and makes the inscription illegible when the paint begins to fade, dry up, and chip) and have freshly placed floral offerings.

The photo above shows the differences within the cemetery. The graves in the foreground are somewhat overgrown (and this is winter, imagine how it will look in the summer), yet there is a grave in the background that has pink flowers making a border around the entire burial site. You may wish to click on the picture to see it full size.

These are the graves of Minnie L. Allen (1916-1945) and Sam Adkinson (1884-1958). If I were to return in the summer, I bet I would not see the headstones at all.

When I first pulled into the cemetery, I thought it was completely fenced in, as I entered through a gate. There is someone living next door, and I heard their dogs barking when I got out of my car. I did not think twice because I thought I was inside a fence. Not true, though! The fence did not even go half way around the cemetery. I noticed this when these two darlings came running up to me wanting to play. Thankfully, they were nice pups. It appears they are the only caretakers for this cemetery as a whole. They are probably doing the best they can, but need some help.

20 February 2010

Here Lieth Mary, Never was Contrary... (Today's Epitaph)

(From Orpington, England - 1755)

Here lieth Mary, never was contrary
To me nor her neighbours around her.
Like Turtle and Dove we lived in love
And I left her where I may find her.

[Source: Grave Matters by E. R. Shushan]

A 60 Year Search Results in a Heart-Breaking Find

Please go read Ruth Coker Burks' article I'm Stunned at the last2cu blog. It is about a 60 year search that resulted in a heart-breaking find. She's been searching for remnants of a family cemetery that she knew was destroyed decades ago. What she found is both amazing and sad. If you have any advice for her, please comment.

17 February 2010

Is that a Pillow Carved on Top of Bernice's Tombstone?

Bernice Ellars (13 Jan 1894 - 15 Jul 1905) was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Georgia. Her stone is a little different. The top of it looks somewhat like a pillow, with tassels hanging down on all four corners. For some reason it reminds me of a pulpit marker.

I think I actually read about something similar on another blog, but I unfortunately cannot remember which one.

By the way, Bernice's epitaph -- "And we wept that one so lovely Should have a life so brief." -- is a quote by William Cullen Bryant. It is from the poem "The Death of the Flowers." The last stanza:

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.
In the cold moist earth we laid her, when the forests cast the leaf,
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief:
Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours,
So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.

16 February 2010

Mrs. Hannah E. Howard (Tombstone Tuesday)

Mrs. Hannah E. Howard
Feb 18, 1833
Apr 17, 1897
Fitzgerald, GA

Evergreen Cemetery
Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia

15 February 2010

New "Featured Articles" Page

I've created a new page for my wonderful visitors. I called it "Featured Articles," and it includes several articles I have written. While most were written for this blog, I also linked to a few on the Rose Hill Cemetery blog as well as the main Southern Graves site.

All the pages for this blog are listed at the top on the right sidebar. Here is a direct link to the Featured Articles page.

14 February 2010

Sunday Slideshow - Centerville Cemetery in the Snow (A Valentine's Day Gift for Me & You)

I've always been just a wee bit jealous of people who lived in places that got a yearly snowfall. Not because I like the white stuff, but because I've wanted to take pictures at a cemetery under a blanket of snow. I think the images are beautiful.

Yesterday I got my wish! Late Friday we received about 5 inches of snow. It was almost gone in 24 hours, but I managed to get to the cemetery when it was still well covered.

I literally said "Thank-you, God" before I even got out of my car at the cemetery. The landscape was breathtakingly beautiful. Since Valentine's Day is all about love, and I love my cemeteries, I believe this was His Valentine's Day gift to me. If you love cemeteries like me, then the following slideshow of some of the photos I took are my Valentine's Day gift to you. I hope you enjoy them.

11 February 2010

Sacred to the Memory of Mr. Jared Bates (Today's Epitaph)

(From Lincoln, Maine - 1800)

Sacred to the Memory of Mr.
Jared Bates who Died Aug. the 6th
1800. His Widow aged 24 who mourns
as one who can be comforted lives
at 7 Elm Street this village
and possesses every qualification
for a good wife.

Is it just me, or do these words seem to be advertising the widow Bates is ready for another marriage?

[Source: Grave Matters by E. R. Shushan]

Tombstone Symbols: the Palm Frond & Wreath

The palm frond, shown through the wreath above, may be seen as a symbol of victory. This is how the Romans used them. Christians adapted them to symbolize an individual's triumph over death.

In the instance above, I believe the wreath is another symbol for victory. Usually this would be attributed to the laurel wreath, also representing eternity and immortality.

W. L. Julian
Dec 31, 1864
Nov 13, 1907

Evergreen Cemetery;
Fitzgerald, Georgia

Photos © 2010 S. Lincecum

10 February 2010

In Memory of Charles Ward (Today's Epitaph)

(From Lowestoft, England - 1770)

In Memory of Charles Ward
who died May 1770
aged 63 years
A dutiful Son
A loving Brother
An affectionate Husband

This stone was not erected by
Susan his Wife. She erected a stone
to John Salter her second husband
forgetting the affection of Charles
Ward, her first Husband.

I'm not even sure what to say about that!

[Source: Grave Matters by E. R. Shushan]

General Sherman's Drummer Boy

Jerome H. Moss was born about September 1849 in Wisconsin. He fought in the Civil War with Company K, 16th Wisconsin Infantry. According to American Civil War Soldiers, Jerome enlisted as a private on 30 December 1863. He would have been about fourteen years old. The following quote is attributed to him: "I lied about my age to get in, but would have lied a thousand times to get out."1

During his service, Jerome served as a drummer boy under General Sherman.2

On 6 November 1894 in Fulton County, Illinois, Jerome married Helen Bessie Bartholomew.3 They are together in the 1900 U.S. Federal census for Pierceton, Kosciusko County, Indiana. By 1910, Jerome and Helen had relocated to the "Shacktown" colony of Fitzgerald, Georgia. Jerome was the resident optician.

Jerome H. Moss was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia.

1. "Evergreen Cemetery Tour Map and Guide," Fitzgerald Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available Online.
2. Ibid.
3. Jordan Dodd and Liahona Research, comp.. Illinois Marriages, 1851-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

09 February 2010

John Buckley & the Congressional Medal of Honor (Tombstone Tuesday)

Sergt. John C. Buckley was born 1 April 1842 in Fayette County, West Virginia. He served during the Civil War in Company G, West Virginia Infantry. John died 29 March 1913 and was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Georgia.

John C. Buckley was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for "Gallantry in the charge of the 'volunteer storming party'" at the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi on 22 May 1863.

The Medal of Honor dates back to 1861, and you may read about its history here. The version of the medal on John's grave is a hybrid of the original and later versions. The inverted, 5-pointed star contains laurel leaves mixed with oak clusters. This represents victory and strength. Surrounding the circled insignia were once 34 stars, equal to the number of stars on the U.S. flag in 1862. Now, "United States of America" is found there. In the center of the circle is a portrait of a helmeted "Goddess of War."

Actions which earned Buckley the Congressional Medal of Honor are chronicled in The "Forlorn Hope" at Vicksburg in Deeds of Valor edited by W. F. Beyer and O. F. Keydel (1903). The chapter begins with "For superb gallantry and reckless indifference to death and danger, there is nothing in military history to excel the conduct of the "forlorn hope" that led the general assault on Vicksburg on May 22, 1863."

Here's more:
...General Grant had encircled the city on three sides with a line of battle twelve miles long, and on the Mississippi, which formed the fourth side, were Admiral Porter's warships. The strength of the enemy had been greatly underestimated, and it was decided to make an attempt to carry the city by storm, in order to avoid the tedium of a siege. The enemy's lines ran along the top of a bluff, and the point of attack selected was to the south of one of the forts. This fort, which was protected by a ditch twelve feet wide and five or six feet deep, rose about ten feet above the level and sloped up gently towards the enemy's guns. The face of the fort was perpendicular, the earth having been tamped, instead of being allowed to adjust itself. The point of attack was in front of the Second Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and on the afternoon of May 21st, each regimental commander of the division explained the plan of operations to his men and called for volunteers. One hundred and fifty men were required for a "forlorn hope" to lead the general assault and prepare the way for the real attack. As these men would be certain to draw the enemy's fire, there was little probability of any of them returning alive, and on that account it was decided not to order any man to go, but to depend entirely on volunteers. Each regiment was to supply its quota, and in view of the terrible risk to be incurred, orders were given that none but unmarried men were to be accepted...
John C. Buckley was one of the first to offer his services as a "volunteer stormer."

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