Sunday, October 5, 2008

Event honors black Confederate soldier | News | - The Progress-Index

Event honors black Confederate soldier News - The Progress-Index

Preserve our heritage! Help locate graves of our Confederate soldiers

I started working on a project similar to this in Rutherford County, Tennessee.
If you can help me with this, I need pictures of Confederate Graves in Rutherford County, pictures of your ancestor if buried there, copies of pension files, copies of his military records, name of wife and their children.
Lets not forget these brave men who fought and died during The War of Northern Aggression
email me @
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
For the past 11 years, I have been searching local pioneer cemeteries that contain the graves of our Confederate soldiers (ancestors) from Mercer County. I have, to date, identified some of these soldiers and have taken over 400 photos of their grave markers. This includes graves in Mercer, Summers, Raleigh, Giles and all over the United States, including burial sites in Northern POW camps. Mercer County had over 1,100 of its citizens who joined the Confederate States of America during the War Between the States — more than any other county in Virginia during that time. They are buried everywhere, and I am doing my best to document the location of our Confederate soldier ancestors. I plan to account for every last one of them. They may be found in a lone grave in the woods or in a community or church cemetery, which is hallowed ground. We need to unite and preserve these pioneer sites for future generations. These cemeteries represent a heritage resource worldwide. Too many graves (and some entire cemeteries) are being neglected and destroyed. I have witnessed such desecration and I say “shame on us!” In 2011, the 150th Anniversary of the War Between the States will be celebrated across this great country, and the graves of these courageous soldiers must be found and honored for their service during that war. I want to express my deepest appreciation to those who are already preserving these old pioneer cemeteries and the many graves that are in them. God bless you! I challenge you to join me in my search for the final resting places of our Confederate soldiers (ancestors). If you locate or know of a cemetery that contains Confederate grave(s), I urge you to send the information to me at the following address: P.O. Box 1846, Princeton, WV 24740.Ken Hylton, Ed Dodson (with the help of Frank Thomas), and I have worked diligently to locate and save these Confederate grave sites, and I again plead for you help. Someone once said, “One of the noblest duties of the living is to represent the virtues and memories of the dead.” I mean to do just that. — Richard D. Lockhart, Adjutant West Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp No. 1694 — ‘Flat Top Copperheads’ Princeton, W.Va.
© 2007, The Bluefield Daily Telegraph928 Bluefield Ave, Bluefield, West Virginia(304) 327-2811; Email news tips and feedback

TAPS, circa 1862

It all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moan of a soldier who lay mortally wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The captain lit a lantern. Suddenly he caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy has been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, he enlisted in the Confederate Army. The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status. His request was partially granted. The captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge of the son at the funeral. That request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. Out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. This music was the haunting melody we now know as "Taps" used at military funerals.
Information provided by Lt Colonel Lewis Kirkpatrick, (Ret) Reserve Officers Association


Day is done,
gone the sun,
from the lakes
from the hills
from the sky,
all is well,
safely, rest,
God is near.
Fading light,
Dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky
Gleaming bright,
From afar,
Drawing, near,
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun
Neath the stars
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This, we, know,
God is near.

A confederate soldier's journey

Former Easton councilwoman Carole Heffley visits the grave of Conferderate Army officer Harry W. Coleman in Easton Thursday. Research by Heffley uncovered how the soldier ended up so far from his Mississippi home. (Kevin Mingora, Allentown Morning Call / October 2, 2008)
Research uncovers how he ended up in Easton Cemetery.
By Michael Duck Of The Morning Call
October 3, 2008

Harry W. Coleman, an 18-year-old Confederate Army officer, has lain for a nearly a century and a half in Easton Cemetery -- deep in Union territory, apart from anyone he knew in his life and more than a thousand miles from his home in Mississippi.Uncovering how he ended up in Easton took six months of sleuthing by Carole Heffley, a former city councilwoman and amateur historian, with help from researchers across the country. What she unearthed, she said, is a saga of a family divided, prisoners of war, loyalty, politics and passion.''It's better than 'Gone with the Wind' -- because it's all true,'' said Heffley, who now splits her time between homes in Wellsboro, in Tioga County, and Stokesdale, N.C.Heffley will join fellow historians today for a noon presentation at Easton Area Public Library and to pay respects at the Confederate soldier's nearby gravesite
Related links
Coleman grave Photo
''I dream about Harry, for Pete's sake,'' she said, laughing. ''It's been my morning, noon and night.''Easton Cemetery superintendent Wayne Unangst said he had no idea who Coleman was before Heffley contacted him.Amateur historian Richard Hope of Easton said he's surprised more Confederate soldiers aren't buried here. ''Not everybody in Easton was a gung-ho Northern supporter,'' he said, noting that at least two local newspapers were cool to the Union's cause.Heffley had heard years ago that a Confederate soldier was in the cemetery, but she didn't dig into the history until she began researching an article for ''Easton Is Home: Historic Edition,'' a publication she used to own and to which she still contributes.Heffley learned Coleman joined the Confederate Army three days after his 15th birthday. He served alongside two of his brothers, including his flamboyant older brother James. The elder Coleman, also an officer, later escaped from a Union POW camp -- so that he could be with his fiancee, according to Heffley.Harry Coleman, however, remained behind as a POW. He was passed from one POW camp to another, refusing to renounce the Confederacy, Heffley said.Meanwhile, Harry's sister Frances had met a rising young New Jersey politician named Theodore Fitz Randolph, who married her and brought her back to the North, Heffley said.In 1865, Harry Coleman died of pneumonia while held at Fort Delaware, about 45 miles below Philadelphia. Randolph received his body and buried him in Easton, where Randolph's father was a businessman.Randolph went on to become New Jersey's governor in 1869 and then a U.S. Senator. He and Coleman's sister were later buried in Morristown, N.J.''It was just unreal to find out all of this,'' said Heffley, who relied on sources from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to Louisiana State University researchers in piecing together the story for a new booklet she's unveiling at the library today.Heffley she said she hasn't found any living relatives of
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