Award-winning author Michael C. Hardy muses about North Carolina, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the 19th century in general.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I’ve probably said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I believe that every soldier’s grave should be marked by a tombstone. This past Saturday, I got to help put in two.
On Saturday morning, I joined our local SCV Camp at a cemetery in southern Yancey County. The camp had been asked by a family to help clean a long-forgotten cemetery, and to install a Confederate marker. The family had already finished most of the work when we arrived. We did take out a couple of small trees and did some raking. I worked with a friend on re-setting the numerous leaning field rocks that mark the final resting places of about 30 or 40 people. Finally, we got the stone for Pvt. Burton Chrisown of the 49th North Carolina Troops placed in the ground. Private Chrisown lies in the cemetery under one of those field rocks.
Later in the day, I joined a couple of friends at another cemetery, this one in northern Yancey County. We had taken it upon ourselves to order a gravestone for Pvt. Henry H. Howard. Private Howard originally enlisted in Company G, 29th North Carolina Troops. He was discharged nine months later by reason of “disease of the heart.” On March 1, 1865, Howard joined Company K, 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry (US). Two weeks later, he was promoted to sergeant. Howard was also buried under a field rock, with the family indicating which rock he was under. Now his grave is marked.
It was a great day, and I hope to be able to do it again really soon.