From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Civil War Graves at Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville, KY

Camp Alcorn Cemetery and Unknown Confederate Soldiers Monument, Hopkinsville, KY..



Robin at south gate of Riverside CemeteryI sometimes walk in Riverview Cemetery in Hopkinsville. It's very quiet there and I always hear birds singing. The perky little robin at right was squabbling with another robin near the cemetery's south gate. They didn't break it up until I came very close. Maybe they were male robins, arguing about a female?

I find cemeteries very interesting when they contain graves from long ago. I read the stones and ponder the lives of people who lived before my time. The details on some tombstones hint at tragic stories, but others record long and apparently prosperous and happy lives. All this reading and pondering makes for a leisurely stroll instead of a brisk walk-for-exercise!

Riverside Cemetery is interesting because it contains many graves of Civil War soldiers. At the main gate, several historic markers document the burial of Civil War soldiers within, including a Union General. Another marker documents the fact that Colonel Nathan Bedford Forest spent the winter of 1861-1862 in Hopkinsville.

Historic marker of Union general's grave Historic marker of Confederate general's grave


About 300 Confederate soldiers are buried in the Camp Alcorn Cemetery within Riverside Cemetery, and apparently the vast majority of these men -- perhaps all -- died of disease in camp near Hopkinsville. How sad to leave home and family and die in such circumstances.

The identities of 101 of the Confederate soldiers are unknown, but their burial is commemorated with a historic marker at the main gate and their grave is marked with a large monument erected by John C. Latham, a contemporary from Christian County who survived the War and became a wealthy businessman.

John C. Latham is the same man who donated Peace and Latham Parks to the city of Hopkinsville. Mr. Latham's tombstone is located in the same general area as the Unknown Confederate Soldiers' monument, and it is about the same size as the monument with a long description of his impeccable character inscribed upon it.

Historic marker about grave of unknown Confederate soldiers Monument to unknown Confederate soldiers, Riverside Cemetery, Hopkinsville, KY


Here are the inscriptions on the four sides of the monument for the Unknown Confederate Soldiers (pictured above right):

East side (seen above with emblem)
AROUND
THIS COLUMN
IS BURIED
ALL OF HEROISM
THAT COULD DIE.


(North side)
WHILE MARTYRS
FOR CONSCIENCE SAKE
ARE RESPECTED,
THE VALOR AND DEVOTION
OF THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER
WILL BE ADMIRED
BY THE GOOD
AND THE BRAVE.


(West side)
BENEATH THIS SOIL
IS MINGLED
THE SACRED DUST OF
ONE HUNDRED AND ONE
UNKNOWN SOLDIERS
WHO WERE ATTACHED
TO THE FOLLOWING COMMANDS:
FIRST MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT
THIRD MISSISSIPPI REGIMENT
SEVENTH TEXAS REGIMENT
EIGHTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT
FOREST'S CAVALRY
WOODWARD'S KENTUCKY CAVALRY
GREEN'S KENTUCKY ARTILLERY
-----
WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
1861-1865


(South side)
THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED
AT THE PLACE OF HIS BIRTH
BY A SURVIVING COMRADE
TO COMMEMORATE THE VIRTUES
OF THE CONFEDERATE DEAD
-----
A.D. 1887

The Camp Alcorn Confederate Cemetery is located in a separate area of Riverside Cemetery near the river. Each gravestone tells the name of the soldier, his rank, and his military unit. A large sandstone slab with a engraved plate gives a bit of the story. I originally thought that these gravestones marked actual graves of soldiers, but I now believe that it is a memorial to all the (known) deceased Confederate soldiers whose bodies remained in Hopkinsville. Careful reading of the engraved plate seems to confirm this. (This paragraph updated 1-02-11.)

Camp Alcorn Confederate Cemetery

Marker at Camp Alcorn Confederate Cemetery Camp Alcorn Confederate Cemetery


Riverside Cemetery also contains graves of Civil War veterans who lived out their natural lives. They are buried with their families, and their gravestones sometimes carry a notation of their rank and the regiment with which they served.

I have posted some photos of Riverside Cemetery before. I didn't look back at the previous posts, but probably some of the photos in this post are another look at the same scenes. I hope that these posts about Riverside Cemetery will be of interest to the visitors who come here regularly seeking information about it.

Bar

Google search for information about Camp Alcorn


Related articles on this blog:
A Walk In Riverside Cemetery
More About Riverside Cemetery
Camp Alcorn at Hopkinsville, KY

2 comments:

Robin Ashley said...

Genevieve:

It's been a while since I've posted, but I found time to visit your blog today. I like your new blog set-up. I am still blogging, although not on the same blogspot. (My old one was Heartsong). I now have a less personal blogspot that I use to connect with my GED students online. You inspired me to pursue blogging as a way to reach others. It was great to visit and catch up on Hopkinsville. Keep up the good work.

visit me if you like at www.freegedhelp.blogspot.com

Robin

eric hoppe said...

i love it .you see over halve if not more of my family is buried in riverside from great grand parents to grand parents uncles grate and grate aunts to also a few cousin's any way edger Casey grave can be found in front of the church in the cemetery i tell you about right in front but it been a wile scents i have been to hop town it i think if you park side ways and get out of your care and look right at the front of the church it should be right there close to the road .my grand mother work at Westerns state hospital for 28 years and lived at 505 Braden street for many years when i came to visit i would play in riverside me and my mom were both born in christian county well i chat at you later i now live in owensboro KY my name is eric hoppe hugs peace love

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.