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Soldiers Cemetery

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Soldiers Cemetery - Page Text Content

S: Soldiers Cemetery - Finley's Brigade Camp #1614 Sons of Confederate Veterans

BC: Dedicated to the brave and honorable soldiers who defended the Confederate States of America and are now buried in Soldiers Cemetery, Quincy, Florida. | The members of Finley's Brigade are dedicated to the preservation of their deeds and honor.

FC: Sons of Confederate Veterans Finley's Brigade Camp #1614 Havana, Florida | Soldiers Cemetery Restoration

1: John Aldridge John Aldridge, Jr. Jerry Allen Hal Avery Elvis Barrineau Bill Beckham John Booth David Brinkley James R. Brinkley Marshall Carroll, Commander David Cline, Adjutant Ron Colson, 2nd Lt. Huston Creel Jamey Creel Kelly Crocker, Chaplain Orville Cummings Larry Driggers Daniel Fletcher Ralph Gray Mitchell Green Calvin Grissett Wayne Grissett Robert Gunn Richard Gunnels Jeff Gurr Anthony Harvey Ellis Harvey Chris Hatcher Collice Hatcher Ken Hatcher | Ron Hatcher Paul Hurst Wendell Larkin Jeff Lodge Bill Lynn Ken Markham Lucian May Winston Montague Randall Musgrove Brian Nipper David Nipper Jason Nipper David O'Kane Rip O'Steen James Parrish Quinton Paul Cecil Raulerson James Rudd Scott Scanland Bill Smith Philip Smith Ellis R. Smith Graham F. Smith, 1st Lt. Morgan Smith Phillip Sumrall Donald Turner Richard White Jan Wilfong Wade Wilfong | Finley's Brigade | As of May 16, 2011

2: In 2005, members of Finley's Brigade Camp #1614, saw the need and had a desire to restore the Old Soldiers Cemetery in Quincy, Florida. The cemetery is the resting place for Confederate soldiers who had died in the Veterans Hospital in Quincy during the War. We felt at that over time it would be very easy for this sacred ground, to lose its historical significance and be forgotten. Over the past 100 or so years, the wooden grave markers had disappeared and the iron fence had fallen into a state of disrepair and ruin. Had the eyesore of the dilapidated iron fence been removed, Soldier's Cemetery would have been only one generation away from ceasing to exist. Therefore, a plan was developed and four separate yet related projects ensued. ~ The first project was to establish "Soldiers Cemetery" as a State of Florida sanctioned historic landmark. ~ The second was to build a new fence to match and replace the damaged and missing fence sections originally erected circa 1900. ~ Third was to acquire a headstone to properly mark the known grave of Confederate soldier, and subsequently seaman, Thomas L. Wragg who by the end of the War was the Master of the Confederate ironclad CSS Atlanta. ~ And last, to determine how many soldiers were buried in the confines of of Soldiers Cemetery. This is the story of how these projects were accomplished.

3: HISTORY OF SOLDIERS CEMETERY Quincy, Florida was one of six medical centers for sick and wounded soldiers during the War Between the States. The court house, Quincy High School, the Episcopal Church and other very large buildings, were hastily prepared as hospitals. Even then, these facilities were inadequate and houses were used for the comfort of many of the soldiers. The medical facilities were under the direction of Dr. Thomas Henry, assisted by many local citizens and organizations including "the Ladies Aid Society." A cemetery lot was established early in the war to be the final resting place for the Confederate soldiers who died in the local medical facilities and had no family in the area or were too far from home to have their remains returned to their loved ones. The plot of land is approximately 50 feet by 117 feet encompassing 5,850 square feet. The graveyard, originally called "Soldiers Cemetery" is located within a larger cemetery known as "Eastern Cemetery" The cemetery is located three blocks east of the Gadsden County courthouse on the north side of US Highway 90.

4: The original fence was erected by the "Ladies Confederate Association" between 1892 and 1900. The ladies raised $1,200 to erect the fence. Over the years sections of the fence became broken-down or were missing and we felt that the borders of the plot where the Soldier's are buried would, in time, be lost and absorbed into the larger cemetery.

5: Soldier's Cemetery has only two marked graves of Confederate veterans. One bears the name David R. Roe , birth and death dates , ant the inscription "a Confederate Veteran." The other marker is located a few feet inside of the gate, and is situated in the middle of the south side of the fence. Turned sideways to the entrance it is a small ordinary headstone and says simply: "Unknown C.S.A. 1861-65." That terse marker stands as the only tribute to an unknown number of Confederate Soldiers who died in Quincy during...and possibly after...the War Between the States.

6: The fence was deteriorating and Soldiers Cemetery was being dwarfed by the still growing "Eastern Cemetery". | We feared Soldiers Cemetery would be forgotten and the significance of these soldiers graves would fade away.

7: FACTS ABOUT THE REPLACEMENT FENCE | The Camp did not go to the local hardware store and buy sections of prefabricated fence. Instead, we painstakingly replicated the original fence erected here over one hundred ten years ago. Our objective was to build a fence to the exact specifications of the original fence that would once again stand the test of time. The following was done to accomplish this objective. Appeased local & state bureaucrats Removed several large trees that had grown up in the original fence and fence line Estimated the materials that would be needed for the project Purchased a couple tons of steel Drilled 1,680 holes into the rails to insert the pickets Cut and hand sharpened 840 pickets Made 1,800 welds to attach the pickets to the rails Mixed 30 bags of concrete to set and anchor the fence and posts Built and hung a large Applied eight gallons of primer and rust-proof paint

8: "... for building a plank fence around the graves of these noble men who died at this place while in the late Army of the Confederate States of America..." Document recovered by Finley's Brigade members from the Gadsden County Records Archives | Minutes of the June 1, 1866 Gadsden County Commission meeting authorizing the construction of a plank fence around Soldiers Cemetery.

9: Application for the Florida historical marker completed and submitted by Finley's Brigade.

10: Approval Letter for Historical Marker

11: The first objective the men of Finley's Brigade undertook was to honor the brave Confederate veterans buried in this hallowed ground by placing an official State Historical marker at Soldiers Cemetery. This letter (facing page) addressed to Camp Commander Marshall Carroll from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources accomplished the task. Finley's Brigade paid the $1,700 fee to have the Historical Marker placed at Soldiers Cemetery which completely depleted the camps banking account at that time. | COMPLETION OF TASK# 1

12: The historical marker was finally approved by the Florida Department of State and the marker was placed at the cemetery in 2006. The site was finally "officially" established and marked for future generations to remember and honor.

13: The ladies of the Mary Ann Harvey Black, Order of Confederate Rose made the day special with homemade tea cakes and lemonade for the guests who attended the dedication. A PROUD DAY | Hand-held fan and program handed out to the participants attending the dedication of the State Historical Marker | Dedication of the placement of the Historical Marker

14: Many sections of the original fence were damaged and falling down. However, since it was part of the history of the cemetery, it was decided not to remove it. Therefore the old fence is within the perimeter of the new fence. | The need for a new fence

15: Compatriot Bill Lynn removes a tree, from the top down, that is growing into the original fence. | Camp members Joe and Jesse Wade donated crane service to remove trees. | Tree removal and boundry survey | Don Pumphrey, a Friend of the SCV helped by grinding the stumps of the trees that had been removed. Mr. Thomas Skipper of Quincy donated his time to survey the boundaries of Soldiers Cemetery

16: Commander Marshall Carroll, Chaplain Kelly Crocker, Compatriots Jason & Brian Nipper clean the cemetery when not working on the fence. | Each section of fence was assembled off-site and when several sections were completed, were brought to the cemetery and welded in position and set in concrete.

17: Compatriot Quinton Paul, Charter member of Finley's Brigade and lifelong resident of Quincy, Florida oversees the renovation of Soldiers Cemetery. | In Memory of Compatriot R. L. Massey who was instrumental in getting the project going but went to be with his ancestors prior to its completion.

18: Commander Marshall Carroll, and Chaplain Kelly Crocker weld fence sections together at the cemetery. Once they are welded and set in concrete, they apply paint to inhibit rust and beautify the fence.

19: Chaplain Kelly Crocker was always on hand to weld, mix concrete, paint, rake the grounds, and ask the Lord to bless our efforts. | Compatriot Ellis Smith and Chaplin Crocker take a break from grounds keeping activities.

20: Compatriot Wayne Grissett and Commander Marshall Carroll were there from the beginning of the project until the end. (6 years) Compatriot Grissett digs holes for fence posts and mixes concrete to set the posts

21: 1st. Lt. Cmdr. Graham Smith paints a section of the new fence | Commander Marshall Carroll applies a coat of paint to the original gate. | Compatriots Carroll, Grissett and Crocker pull string and use a level to ensure a gate post is plumb.

22: The Camp 1614 time capsule marker is unveiled at the fence dedication. The capsule containing sesquicentennial news as well as camp and SCV memorabilia and documents will be placed in the brick and granite vault at a later date with instructions to open in 50 years during the bicentennial. | Dedication of the new fence and placement of time capsule vault

23: Dedication of Master Thomas Wragg's headstone placed by Finley's Brigade | Pamela Hain (left), a descendant of Thomas Wragg and author of A Confederate Chronicle: The Life of a Civil War Soldier (a book about her ancestor) watches the proceedings . | Huston Creel, Victoria Carroll and Anthony Harvey place a wreath at Master Thomas Wragg's Grave

24: Compatriot Wayne Grissett assists staff from the National Park Service unload, and assemble the equipment that will locate and chart the number of graves in Soldiers Cemetery. | Locating and charting the graves

26: Compatriots Wayne Grissett and Marshall Carroll assist the staff from the National Park Service. The whole Camp is excited to FINALLY find out how many soldiers are buried within the confines of the fence. | Compatriot Grissett helps lay out grid so the graves can be accurately charted.

27: Mr. Jeffrey Shanks of the National Parks Service gives a presentation of his work and how he located the graves at Soldiers Cemetery

28: COMPLETION OF TASK # 4 (Determine the number of graves) | Mr. Shanks presents his chart and findings to a crowd gathered at Soldiers Cemetery for CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY 2011. There are 36 known "grave shafts" in the cemetery. Mr. Shanks feels comfortable saying that additional graves will be located when further research is performed

29: The picture above shows the location of Confederate graves. Mr. Jeffrey Shanks of the Southeastern Archeological Center used a Electrical Resistivity Meter to locate these graves. According to him, normally he would use ground penetrating radar in order to locate unmarked graves but clay in this area does not work well with radar, the signal just bounces off without penetrating the ground. The way the resistivity meter works is by passing an electrical current through the ground and then measuring the speed at which it travels. When the current passes through areas of loose soil or more moisture, it travels faster. When it encounters solid things like stone it slows. This process worked very well at Soldiers Cemetery and the Center was able to identify about forty graves. Mr. Shanks suspects there is one grave that holds more than one soldier.

30: Finley's Brigade Color Guard was so excited to finally be able to honor these noble men with flags and roses at each grave site located by the National Park Service

32: Victoria Carroll, Granddaughter of Commander Marshall Carroll puts roses where each soldiers grave was located. | Flags were put out for the first Decorations Day since each grave was located and mapped. | Taylor Ard, Granddaughter of Lt. Commander Graham Smith places roses at each soldiers grave. | Decorations Day 2011

33: We felt it was very important to get our children and grandchildren involved in celebrating the first anual "Decorations Day" since determining exactly where the graves are located. These young people are the future generations to remember and take care of Soldiers Cemetery. Hopefully they will be on hand when the time capsule is opened in 50 years. | Victoria Carroll Taylor Ard Chase Ard Rachael Bender

34: SEARCHING FOR NAMES OF SOLDIERS | Commander Marshall Carroll searches through boxes and boxes of old records from the original Gadsden County Court House. The Gadsden County records archives is the "old" County Jail.

35: Compatriot WayneGrissett searches through old Gadsden County records looking for a list of soldiers buried in Soldiers Cemetery | Chaplain Kelly Crocker looks through old County Commission meeting minutes for information on Soldiers Cemetery | Compatriot Cal Grissett thumbs through court records & land deeds .

36: Lord... ...we consign to that house prepared for all the living, the memory of the soldiers of the South and this country who lie unknown but to You within the confines of this fence. The march of these soldiers has been long over. Let us remember them here at rest under the blue skies of Heaven, guarded by the silent stars that in life watched over them when they bivouacked on the battlefields or lay down weary and foot-sore on the soil of the Southland. May we, as we stand on this sacred ground, never forget that it is our duty, as Sons and Daughters of the South to venerate the memory of the men who stood shoulder to shoulder on the bloody fields of battle, who guarded so faithfully, so honestly and so well the sacred bonds of Statehood and who fought for liberty, homeland, and family. They have passed away to their final review and upon us has been entrusted, by the sacred right of heritage, the duty of perpetuating their honor and the principles for which they fought. Amen.

37: The marker has been placed at Soldier's Cemetery marking it as a State of Florida sanctioned historical landmark. The deteriorated fence has been replaced with a new fence separating Soldier's Cemetery from Eastern Cemetery. Master Thomas Wragg's grave has been marked with a new headstone. The number of actual graves in Soldier's Cemetery has been determined and documented. But the work at Soldier's Cemetery will never be completed until we locate the names of these soldiers buried here and headstones mark their graves or a memorial monument for the unknowns is placed in the cemetery. Finley's Brigade will continue to have a "Decorations Day" as they did in 1892 and teach our future generations to do the same. MAY THEY NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

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Libby Smith
  • By: Libby S.
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  • Title: Soldiers Cemetery
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  • Started: about 8 years ago
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