Recently, I was out with a friend cemetery crawling in Yancey County. And it was crawling. We were in some unmaintained cemeteries, looking for the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers. While at one of these cemeteries, we came across the graves of two men: William B. Biggs and Thomas D. Silver.
Thomas D. Silver, according to the Troop book series, “Resided in Yancey County and enlisted at the age of 17 on July 3, 1861.” He was mustered in as a private in Company B, 29th North Carolina Troops. Silver was “Wounded in the left shoulder at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on or about December 31, 1862. [He] Returned to duty on an unspecified date. Captured at Spanish Fort, Mobile, Alabama, April 8, 1865. Confined at Ship Island, Mississippi, April 10, 1865. Transferred to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he arrived on May 6, 1865. No further record.”
William B. Biggs also enlisted in Company B, 29th North Carolina Troops. According to his record, he “resided in Yancey County and enlisted at the age of 29, July 3, 1861. Transferred to Company K of this regiment September 16, 1861. Transferred back to this company on March 11, 1864. Last reported in the records of this company in November 1864.” Biggs appears in another regiment – the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry (US). He joined Company K of the 3rd Regiment in Burnsville on March 1, 1865, and was mustered into service in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 13, 1865. Biggs was promoted to the rank of 5th Sergeant in June 1865. It is interesting to note that he was promoted to fifth sergeant, but he could not read. It is also interesting to note that there are no discharge papers for Biggs. He simply disappears.
The more remarkable tie between Silver and Biggs is that they are buried not only in the same cemetery, but right beside each other (albeit with a tree in between). Biggs lies there with a Federal stone, and Silver, to his right, with a Confederate stone.