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This is the archive for September 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

We got such a nice response on the showing of Private Joyner's gravestone, it will become a somewhat regular addition to the blog.

Charles Whiting Carroll: the son of Sanford and Harriet (Whiting) Carroll, he was born in Dedham, MA on May 31, 1836. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1859 and then pursued a career in law after graduation by reading law with T.L. Wakefield, Esq. He was admitted to the Suffolk Bar in March 1861 and married Lucy Marie Farwell, age 21 of Foxboro, the daughter of John and Lucy (Stratton), at Foxboro, MA on July 30, 1861.

He was commissioned a First Lieutenant on April 19, 1861 and was mustered into Company F, 18th Mass. Infantry as a Private on August 24, 1861. He was promoted to the rank of Captain and placed in command of Co. F on Oct. 29, 1861 succeeding Henry Onion, who had resigned his commission. He was engaged with the Regiment at Yorktown, Peninsula Campaign, and as Captain of Company F was mortally wounded at the battle of Second Bull Run on August 30, 1862.

In the charge at Second Bull Run he acted as Lt. Colonel of the Regiment. While retiring from the field and bringing up the rear, he was struck in shoulder blade by a ball. He was left behind in the confusion of the retreat and lingered on the field for two days after being wounded. He was buried on the field, however his remains were subsequently exhumed and reburied in the Village Cemetery at Dedham.

The Charles Whiting Carroll Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 144 in Dedham was named in his honor. His wife Lucy, age 22, applied for a Widow's pension on Oct. 19, 1862 and was issued benefits of $20.00 per month. Lucy Carroll remarried to Jared N. Hayes on June 30, 1875.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Awhile back, Dimitri at Civil War Bookshelf, posted about Meigs and the part he played in the building of the Capital Building.

At the same time I was reading While in the hands of the enemy: Military Prisons of the Civil War by Charles W. Sanders Jr., where Meigs has a rather juicy role – so I was interested at the bottom of the post which had the following to say:
Meigs, the engineer, eventually practiced architecture designing a "lodge" for habitation by cemetery superintendents (as shown, here).

Following the hyperlink, I learned that 23 of the original lodges still existed, while some 33 where either demolished and rebuilt or just demolished.

Beaufort was listed as demolished and rebuilt in 1933, so while looking for Private Joyner’s grave, I made sure to look at the lodge too.

As you can see, besides being brick, two stories and a basement, they don’t look quite the same. As a matter of fact when I first looked at it, I thought it looked like a brick barn.

Guess I'll have to make a trek to one of the other 23 cemeteries that still have a true lodge to get a real feel.

And don't worry - this will be the last Beaufort National Cemetery post for awhile - although I do have another Beaufort post coming soon.

Friday, September 08, 2006

For most of my life, it was a landmark used when giving directions

An area surrounded by brick wall, with only the gate area allowing you to see the gravestones as you passed by driving from one point to the other – it just happened to be a place you might happen to see out of the corner of your eye as you fought traffic.

The 11 years that I lived in Beaufort, the closest I came to going in was standing at the back wall while helping build the Beaufort High School float for the Christmas parade. Twenty years later, I don’t necessarily remember looking over the shoulder high wall and viewing the grounds but I am sure I did. Just as sure as it really didn’t hit me with what I was actually looking at.

Now, as an adult – this has changed, I have finally visited the Beaufort National Cemetery and wish I had done so much earlier.

My parents and a sister still live in Beaufort, so I do still visit the town. Normally, the most I see of it is the same track down Highway 21, past the Marine Corps Air Station where the Great Santini (and now buried at the National Cemetery) was stationed, hang a right onto Ribault Road and after a few miles turn into the subdivision that leads to my parent’s home.

Often I comment to my wife on the slight changes, wishing that things were still the same so that I could visit Ambers Bookstore (best used book and comic book store anywhere) or eat at the Village Inn but stores close and new things take their place. Once there, we rarely go anywhere unless it’s to the local grocery store – now a Piggly Wiggly not the A&P I grew up with – until we head back for the Charleston area.

This visit was a bit different; I wanted to go to the cemetery to visit a soldier’s grave. So after spending some time with my family and helping my father do some wood work, I took my two sons, aged 11 and 9 and headed to the cemetery. I knew the grave number for Private Joyner but figured it would be hard to find the actual plot, so warned my kids we may have a trek once we got into the cemetery – not something I was looking forward too in the 95+ degree weather. They though, thought of it as an adventure – oh the joys of youth.

Luckily as I pulled through the gates, which had not changed since the last time I had driven by a few years ago and barely noticed them, I noticed a small parking lot with a box clearly marked Grave Locator. In a matter of minutes, I knew exactly where Private Joyner was buried.

An interesting thing about the Beaufort National Cemetery, it was established in 1863 by President Lincoln (although the first internees were buried after the Battle of Port Royal in 1861) during the height of the Civil War while Beaufort was a Union occupied town well within the Confederacy - south of Charleston and north of Savannah.

As my sons and I walked towards the grave site, I couldn’t help but notice the symmetry of the grave markers, spreading out from the center of the entrance gates.

A plaque with Lincoln’s Gettysburg address had a prominent location and two of the streets had a pure southern touch, one shaded with an avenue of oaks, while the other had parallel rows Palmetto trees, the state tree.

I also noticed that when the cemetery was first built, the grave plots were much larger. Although Private Joyner’s was plot 1327, there were a couple of graves between his and 1328. As more soldiers died, the space became needed and the plots became smaller.

Many of the soldiers near his grave had no death information, victims of the Confederate Prison system. They were lucky that they were not buried in a mass grave near the Prisoner of War Camp they died in. Joyner was strong enough to survive Andersonville but died of disease in Camp Lawton, Georgia.

After taking a few pictures, my oldest son, asked if we could leave, “this place is a little eerie Daddy,” was how he put it. So we went to the car, I started it up and left the AC running and took some pictures of the front gate, came back to the car and instead of leaving, decided to drive to a rather large monument towards the back of the cemetery.

I think, ending the post with its picture and message would be best.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

One of the better things our group has done, at least in my opinion, is our collection of tombstones. No, not the actual tombstone but instead pictures of all the members of the unit that we have been able to find.

When you read that a soldier died at some battle or as a prisoner it just does not seem to have the impact as that of staring at a rectangle of white stone/marble and read that underneath your feet lays the remains of a soldier who fought for this great land. Standing amongst the collection of tombstones, surrounded by thousands of individual monuments to death, stirs something deep in one's soul.

I never felt more emotional or more connected to my Great- Great Grandfather than when I kneeled at the family plot in Plympton, Massachusetts. It is times like that, in which I know the time I put into the 18th is so worth it.

In a war where so many of us concentrate on the movements of divisions and corps, one visit to a cemetery can hit home that the decisions the Generals made had deep and sometimes terrible consequences.

This past Sunday, I went to the Beaufort National Cemetery – Beaufort, SC - and visited the grave of Private Robert S Joyner. I will write more about the trip later, the rest of the post belongs to Robert.

Robert S. Joyner: married Anne Redmond on Oct. 21, 1854 at Waterloo, NY. They were the parents of Emma, born Aug. 31, 1855 and Ellen, born Jan. 10, 1857, both in Geneva, NY. He was a 27 year old Hostler from Geneva, NY, when he enlisted on and was mustered into the 18th Mass. Infantry on August 4, 1862. He was captured and taken prisoner at the battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864 and held as a Prisoner of War at Camp Lawton, GA. He died of disease at Camp Lawton on Dec. 31, 1864. His wife Anne, age 39, applied for a Widow's pension on Aug. 15, 1873 and was issued benefits of $8.00 per month, with an additional $2.00 per month for their minor children, Emma and Ellen. Anne Joyner, who resided in Flint Creek, Ontario Co. NY in 1879, died on Nov. 2, 1904.