Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taliaferro-Cole Cemetery, Williamsburg, Virginia

This small cemetery is located with the historic district of Colonial Williamsburg. It is near the corner of S. Nassau St and W. Francis St, in a field. At times there are sheep in the field, as seen in the top photo. Other times, the sheep are gone and a small outer fence's gate may be open. It is nearly directly behind the Taliaferro-Cole House located on Duke of Gloucester Street.

There are 4 marked graves here, none of which are known to be Taliaferro's. Charles Taliaferro was a coachmaker who lived in the home for nearly 30 years starting in the 1770s. The Coles bought the home in the early 1800s and used it as a post office and general store.

Buried here are:
Catherine B Cole, child of RF & ER Cole, 1845-1846
Jesse Cole, son of RF & ER Cole, 1850-1866
George Washington Labby, son of Pleasant Labby, 1825-1855
and the last marker which only states
"Sweet Daisy aged 23 months and 4 days"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Old Isham's Grave, Noah, Coffee County, Tennessee

Yes, not all cemeteries listed here are "people" cemeteries! This is the grave of "Old Isham". It is located in Coffee County, on French Brantley Rd, between Interestate 24 and Hwy 41.
"Old Isham" was the honored mount of General Benjamin Franklin Cheatham, a native of Nashville and a Confederate General during the Civil War. The horse was named for Tennessee Governor, Isham Harris. After the war, Cheatham took Old Isham back to his farm in Tennessee. When Isham died, he was buried here with full military honors. Cheatham died in 1886 and is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rosehill Cemetery, Meridian, Lauderdale County, MS

Located in Meridian, on 40th Avenue. Large, active cemetery.
Many Confederate dead are buried here. A monument and large sign board list the known dead from the Confederate states who died in area battles. There are also many markers of local Mississippi soldiers who died later and are buried here.

The most interesting people in this cemetery may be the "King and Queen of the Gypsies", Emil and Kelly Mitchell. Emil was born around 1857 in Brazil, he died in Alabama in1942. His first wife, Kelly, was born around 1868 and died in 1915 during childbirth. Thousands attended her funeral. And now people travel from all over to lay offerings at her grave. On the day we visited in 2005, there were a number of wine bottles and many Mardi Gras beads(as seen in photo). Other members of the family are buried to either side of them. The gravesite is even listed on the website Roadside America!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Andersonville National Cemetery, Macon County, Georgia

Located at the Andersonville National Historic Site in Macon County. This was the site of probably the most famous and largest Confederate prison camp from the Civil War. It housed upwards of 45,000 Union prisoners of which nearly 13,000 died of disease and starvation, among other causes. The cemetery contains 13,714 graves, 921 being marked "unknown".
A group of prisoners who took advantage of their fellow soldiers was known as the "Andersonville Raiders". On July 11, 1864, six of the leading raiders were hanged. They are buried here, but separate from the soldiers they terrorized.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Greenwood Cemetery, Metairie, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Established in 1852 by the Fireman's Charitable and Benevolent Association. The first New Orleans graveyard not to be walled in. The prominent monuments near the front gates can easily be seen by passersby on the nearby Interstate 10. It is in a "cemetery rich" area of town, with Metairie across the interstate, and Cypress Grove across Canal Street, and numerous others in the area.
Confederate Memorial. The faces on the four sides are of Generals Robert E Lee, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Leonidas Polk(a Bishop of Louisiana) and Albert Sydney Johnston. Below the monument is a mass grave of 600 unknown Confederate soldiers.

A cemetery that I have visited many times and always look forward to visiting again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Palmer Chapel Cemetery, Cataloochee, Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

Located in Big Cataloochee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is at the top of a high hill across the road from the Palmer Chapel. Many of the valleys original settlers are buried here, Bennett's, Caldwell's and Palmer's.

This marker says:
Young Bennett 1812-1894
and wife Allie Mease Bennett 1811-1891
Among the first permanent settlers of Cataloochee (early 1840s), They are buried near this spot. A son, Creighton(CSA) is buried nearby.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Smith Cemetery, Poquoson, Virginia

Located in Poquoson, off Brickhouse Ln, just east of White Creek Rd/Rt 172. This cemetery was founded in 1851 by Henry Smith in memory of Martha Presson Smtih. The marker says it was called Oxford in 1637, and Ashland in 1833. This is an active cemetery, and there are many more recent graves here than the only one I photographed below.

This marker with these names is located at the foot of this brick grave covering.
Martha Presson Smith 1802-1850
Frances Topping Watkins 1826-1851
Henry Smith Jr 1824-1864
Henry Smith Sr 1798-1866
Sarah Smith Curtis 1837-1869
Walter Martin 1805-1881

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

James Cemetery, Smyrna, Rutherford County, TN

Located on the small rise in the yard near the bush shown in the photo. Tarrytown Drive. All markers are down, broken and flat.

The family that are buried here once lived in the beautiful old home that is one street north, Carter Lane. After the elder James' passed away, one of the daughters, Mollie James(who never married), sold the home to Houston Carter(for whom the street is now named).

William R James 1808-1897
Elizabeth Caroline James 1819-1874
Nannie R James White 1843-1903
Garrett T James 1845-1874
Mary T Walpole 1821-1892

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chattanooga National Cemetery, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee

Located on South Holtzclaw Ave, between E Main and Bailey Ave. Visited in 2007.

This National Cemetery was formed after the Battle for Chattanooga in 1863. Major General George H Thomas chose the location, facing Missionary Ridge on one side and Lookout Mountain on the other. By 1870 there were over 12,800 internments including the fallen from battles around the area and Sherman's men who had fallen during his march through Georgia.

There are also 78 German prisoners of war who died while being held during World War I.
Probably the most impressive monument here is the one erected in 1890 by the state of Ohio to the memory of "Andrews Raiders". Named for the group's leader, a civilian scout, James J Andrews, the group consisted of 22 Union volunteers. The "Raiders" stole a locomotive, The General, in 1862 in northern Georgia, in order to disrupt Confederate supplies going between Chattanooga and Atlanta. The train was eventually caught and some of the "Raiders" were hung as spies. Most of the men later received the Medal of Honor(though Andrews himself was a civilian and not eligible). The eight who were executed are buried here, around the monument.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Florence City Cemetery, Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama

Located on East Tennessee Street in Florence, Alabama. Visited August 2008.

Recently placed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register. There are many veterans of previous wars here, including many Civil War veterans, some from the War of 1812 and perhaps even one from the Revolutionary War. The cemetery was established along with the town in 1818, but the oldest known burial is from 1831.

The most interesting story from the cemetery is noted on a historical marker along East Tennessee St. It talks of"Mountain" Tom Clark, who was hanged September 4, 1872. The text from the marker reads:
This notorious outlaw gang leader who boasted that no one would ever run over Tom Clark lies buried near the center of Tennessee Street where now all who pass by do run over him. In 1872 Clark, who terrorized helpless citizens during the Civil War, confessed to at least nineteen murders, including a child, and was hanged with two companions. Although graves were already dug in a nearby field, outraged townspeople interred Clark beneath Tennessee Street this bringing his boast to nought. "

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oak Alley Plantation Cemetery, Vacherie, St James Parish, LA

Location: West of Vacherie, south of the Mississippi River, along the River Road, about 55 miles from downtown New Orleans. Admission is most likely required to view the grounds.

Oak Alley was originally built with slave labor from 1837 to 1839 by J.T. Roman. He was the brother of André Roman, the second Governor of Louisiana. The home is mostly known for it's avenue of tremendous Live Oak trees that lead from the front porch of the home to the Mississippi River. The trees were supposedly flourishing for some years before the house was built.

After several successful and non-successful owners, the plantation was bought and refurbished by the Stewarts in the 1920's. Andrew and Josephine Stewart are buried in the small graveyard on the west side of the home. Her nephew, Zeb Mayhew Jr, took over care of the plantation after her death in 1972. He passed away in 1994 and is also buried there. It is unclear(to me at least) where previous owners may be buried.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Eusebia Church Cemetery, Blount County, Tennessee

Located on Highway 411, just inside the Blount County line across from Sevier County. The side street is Burnett Station Rd. The small forts in the area during the late 1700s were often called "stations". This particular area was settled around 1784 and the cemetery was formed after the first death in the group. It was after that, that a Reverend organized a church next to the cemetery.
This cemetery has one of the largest number of Revolutionary War soldiers that I know of in Tennessee. There are 15 buried here. They are:
Andrew Bogle 1753-1813
Joseph Bogle Jr 1759-1811
Joseph Bogle Sr 1730-1790
John Boyd Sr 1745-1838
Andrew Creswell 1757-1838
John Cusick (dates unknown)
Josias Campbell 1760-1823(or 1812, unknown)
Joseph Black Sr 1747-1825
George Hadden 1751-1843
John McCrosky 1757-1843
Samuel McMurray 1755-1821
Michael McNelly 1747-1822
Robert McTeer 1740-1824
John Pickens 1751-1835
John Sharp Jr 1762-1844

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Harpers Ferry Cemetery, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harper Cemetery, located near the top of the hill overlooking the picturesque historical town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Robert Harper, for whom the town is named, set out these 4 acres for a graveyard for the small village he settled. Situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, the town was a volatile player in the War Between the States. John Brown's raid of 1859 happened here and the town changed hands between the North and South eight times during the war.

The small walled area is where the Harper family is buried. Robert Harper had no children and left most of his land to his niece. The town doesn't look very different than it did in the 1860s, the population is still only listed at around 300.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adkerson Cemetery, Rutherford County, TN

A cemetery within a cemetery. These headstones are actually located at Mt Juliet Cemetery in Wilson County, Tennessee. They once belonged in Adkerson Cemetery which was located near the Stones River off of Harbor Drive which still runs north from Jefferson Pike east of the Lake.

The Lake, J. Percy Priest Lake, was formed when the Stones River was damned. The dam was built between 1963 and 1968. In that time, hundreds of graves from Rutherford, Davidson and Wilson counties were relocated, as well as hundreds of people who lived along the river. The whole town of Jefferson was removed-as if it never existed.

This small family graveyard is just one of many from Rutherford County that was relocated to Mt Juliet. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, those responsible for the move, this graveyard had these 2 headstones and 17 more unknown whose graves had not been marked.

The two we do know the identity of are Samuel P Tucker, Nov 12, 1846-June 13, 1870; and Maud Rose, twin daughter of John H and Sallie Adkerson, Feb 17-Sep 12, 1872.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Burns-Davis Cemetery, Williamson County, Tennessee

This small graveyard is one I see every time we drive the Natchez Trace Parkway in western Williamson County. Located just south of the Garrison Creek picnic area, around mile marker 427. The time we stopped to take the photos in 2002 the gate to the fenced-in cemetery was locked. There is no listing in the Williamson County cemetery research book with the names shown on these headstones.
BURNS Mrs L. J. Dec 13, 1839-Aug 31, 1919
DAVIS W. E. "Father" July 31, 1870-Sept 6, 1938
DAVIS Carrie V. "Mother" June 1, 1881-(no death date)
DAVIS Ezekial T. Feb 2, 1904-Sept 3, 1923

Monday, April 6, 2009

Live Oak Cemetery, Pass Christian, Harrison County, Mississippi

Located across the street from historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Pass Christian, Mississippi, on St Louis Street at Church Street. Today I want to talk about a beautiful, old, historic cemetery that needs help. My first visit was in June 2005, just two months before Hurricane Katrina decimated this town. The name of the cemetery, Live Oak, perfectly described the beauty of this setting. The Oaks were numerous and despite it being a bright sunny day, most of my photos that day are quite dark as the full, old trees with their mass amounts of hanging Spanish moss created a canopy over the graveyard that was graceful and spooky at the same time.

The graves here dated from the early 1800s, though the exact date of the earliest grave is unknown. Some of those buried here include Frances Parke Lewis Butler, 1797-1895, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington and grand-niece of George Washington; Captain Samuel McCutcheon, 1773-1840, a former owner of Ormond Plantation near New Orleans; and a man, Michael Cuddy, a native of Ireland, who died in what has become known as the "Last Duel in Pass Christian", May 21, 1826.

And then came August 29, 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. Katrina pushed a wall of water over the entire Mississippi coast and washed away nearly everything from the beach to nearly a mile inland. Not merely flooded like New Orleans, the Mississippi coast was almost wiped clean(I know, my mother lost her home there). The photo below is roughly the same view as the one at the top.

These photos were taken in September of 2007, almost two full years since Katrina hit. When I visited two weeks after the storm, I could not get as far as Pass Christian as we were only given passes to the area where our home was(Long Beach), and many roads were still completely impassable. When I did get back in 2007, this was one of the first places I had to visit. And I was stunned to see the devastation. I sat in tears for some time.
The grave above is that of Frances Butler, mentioned above. There had been an iron fence surrounding the plot, but all that was left was the gate. The McCutcheon family tomb and the box tombs around it, below, were reduced to rubble. Trinity Church was severely damaged, but the framework held up even when the walls washed away. The high school just east of the cemetery was completely destroyed. To see more of Pass Christian, before and after photos from Katrina, this is a good website to visit. I have many "after" photos, but not nearly enough "before".

I hope to return some day, to check on the progress of this cemetery. However I live in Middle Tennessee. My mother has moved on to East Tennessee. My sister also had lived in Gulfport, MS at the time of Katrina-her husband had been stationed there in the Navy. He has since been transferred to Virginia and they will be leaving for a tour in Italy soon. So I have no family in Mississippi anymore. But I hope that one day I can find the time to return to visit this wonderful community.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jefferson Family Graveyard, Monticello, Albermarle County, Virginia

The Jefferson Family Graveyard, located at Monticello in Albermarle County, southeast of Charlottesville, off of Hwy 53, the Thomas Jefferson Parkway. These photos were taken in February of 2003. The Jefferson Family Graveyard is open to all direct family members and descendants of Thomas Jefferson and is still used to this day. There are approximately 200 people buried there now.
The site was chosen by Jefferson and a friend, his brother-in-law, Dabney Carr in 1773. Carr was married to Jefferson's sister and he died in 1773. He would be the first buried here, in a spot chosen by Jefferson. The site sits just down the hill southwest from the main house. Jefferson's immediate family surround his obelisk marker at the north end of the cemetery.

The grave of Thomas Jefferson. This obelisk marker was not one chosen by him, it was added later by the United States in 1883, 57 years after his death. His original marker was more modest, as was the inscription, which he chose himself. He made no mention of being President. The epitaph he wrote says:

Here lies buried
Thomas Jefferson
Author of the
Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom
and Father of the University of Virginia

And his grave faces northwest, directly towards Charlottesville and his beloved University of Virginia.
The dates at the bottom read:
Born April 2, 1741 O.S.
Died July 4, 1826

The O.S. refers to the "Old Style" calender that was in use prior to 1752. Eleven days were added when dates were shifted and many graves of the era show somewhat confusing dates because of this. You can read more about the explanation at the Official Monticello website.

Of all cemeteries I have visited, this is one of my favorites. And as for Presidential grave sites, this is by far and away my favorite. A must see for any graving enthusiast.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cole Cemetery, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Cole Cemetery is located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is appropriately located down a short hike at a pulloff along Hwy 441 designated a "Quiet Walkway", just south of Sugarlands Visitor Center, and about 300 yards east of the road.

There are fallen rock walls along three sides of this cemetery. There are probably around 30-40 burials here, but only 2 markers. When I visited in the fall of 2004, one of the markers appeared to be a fairly new Confederate States of America military issued marker for a Pvt Joseph Henry Dodgen, Co G 12 South Carolina Infantry, born 1841 died 1880.
The second marker also looked fairly new and is probably a replacement marker for an older sandstone handcarved stone that is pretty common for this area of the country. The names on it are Vance and Betty Newman.
There were also a few small uncarved(as far as I could tell) stones, but most of the graves here are completely unmarked. According to the book, In the Shadow of the Smokies, a book listing cemeteries in Sevier County, Tennessee, there used to be a few small glass jars listing some names of those known to be buried here, all with the surnames of Cole. Also thought to be buried here are family by the name of Ogle-a popular name in the area.

This is one of about 140 small family cemeteries within the boundaries of the state park. Many are lost to nature or were unmarked to begin with.