Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Confederate Grave

Confederate Grave
Originally uploaded by paynehollow.
The tombstone pictured is of a Civil War casualty – Captain Joseph Read, born Feb. 22, 1844, died July 13, 1864. The poem at the bottom reads:

Dearest Joseph, thou hast left us
Here thy loss we deeply feel
But it’s God who hast bereft us
He can all our sorrows heal

He was buried in a cemetery next to Otter Creek surrounded by a great variety of beautiful and colorful birds – goldfinches, scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, cardinals and blue jays and the graveyard was alive with birdsong.

Otter Creek is next to Fort Knox and a highway and, in addition to the songbirds’ music, there was the considerably less-musical sound of jets overhead and trucks rolling down the highway.

The news of the day:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iraq's sectarian warfare fueled a sharp increase in global terrorism in 2006, the U.S. State Department reported Monday.

The total number of terrorist attacks was up more than 25 percent from the previous year, according to the State Department's annual report on global terrorism…

The number of people killed in terrorist attacks in Iraq rose from 8,262 in 2005 to 13,340 last year, said Russell Travers, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center…


Eleutheros said...

Deo Vindice.

GreenmanTim said...

Joseph S. Read was a Captain in the 20th Mississippi regiment and may be the soldier whose grave you found. They were at Fort Donelson at the time of its surrender. They were exchanged and fought under Pemberton, then later in Tennessee as part of Rust's Brigade. They opposed Sherman's advance on Atlanta with Adam's bridge, and during this time your Captain Read died.

GreenmanTim said...

Meant Adam's Brigade, not Bridge. Thanks, Tim

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for the additional info, Tim. Very interesting, sounds like it could be the same guy.

Is this something you already knew or you researched it?

Ontario Wanderer said...

Too bad GWBush does not read the news but then one wonders at time if he ever learned to read or think.

GreenmanTim said...

Researched it. The National Park Service has a searchable database for Civil War Soldiers and Sailors:


The only confederate Captain in the database named Joseph Read was in the 20th Mississippi. I looked up the unit history and that gave a sense of Captain Read's movements. Why he is buried in Kentucky I have no idea.

Dan Crone said...

Greenmantim may be right, but can you make out the middle initial? Maybe you have a higher resolution version of this photograph? Is it indeed 'S'? I find it strange that a KY resident would be in a Mississippi regiment. Although the tombstone says 'read', others may have recorded the last name as reed,reid,ried,or read, and the 1st name as J. Too bad they didn't put the company and regiment on th e tombstone. Another place I can look is the 1850 or 1860 census records if they exist. I believe this is in Hardin county? I know of no action in KY in July, 1864 so his death was probably elsewhere and reinterred later, perhaps many years later. Another possibility is that its a memorial stone, and the body is not in that location. Were there other READ's in the cemetery? It looks to me like there are some KY possibilities depending on the middle initial. The KY confederate companies are referred to as the 'orphan brigade', because KY never seceded from the Union, & because KY was under Union control, the KY confederates were orphans, unable to go home (for fear of being killed or imprisoned), until the war ended. So my guess is for J.O. Read or J.B. Read from KY, but I need that middle initial.

GreenmanTim said...

Well, this could get interesting. The middle initial is certainly not an S, but neither J.O. or J.B Read of Kentucky in the database are the right rank. The stone is really rather elaborate, and what is that inscription (BROWN / N ALBANY) near the base? I know this is not the direction you were heading with your post, Dan, but it will be fun to figure this out.

Dan Trabue said...

It reads "Capt. Joseph O. Read, C.S.A.

Son of Robert and Mary Read"

The Brown New Albany sign at the bottom I'm sure is the tombstone maker. New Albany, IN is just across the river from Louisville and down the road from Ft Knox. That name was at the bottom of several tombstones in this graveyard.

History geeks. What are you gonna do with them?

[Actually, I think it's all quite interesting and appreciate the input.]

Dan Crone said...

I think I've got it. I found him in the census. Here's the story thus far...
It was a dark and stormy night...

Robert W. Reed was born in Pennsylvania about 1810. In 1850's, he lived in Meade county, but by 1860, he had moved to Hardin, Kentucky, where he farmed the land with the help of his 2 oldest sons, (Edward and Lloyd). In 1860, one year before the civil war started, he was 50 years old, and his wife, Mary, was 53. He had five children. Alice J. Reed, 21; Edward W. Reed (19);Loyd H. Reed (17); Joseph 0. Reed (16); and Thomas E. Reed (13). The gravesite you photographed is that of Joseph O. Reed. (One can't be too bothered by the spelling, its often the result of the census recorder. The 1850 census spelled READ as it is spelled on the gravestone.)

The Reads/Reeds of Company B:
The three brothers, Joseph 0. Reed, Lloyd H. Reed, and Edward W. Reed, served in Company B. Probably related, perhaps a cousin or uncle, is Corporal John B. Read, also of Company B.

There was also an Oscar E. Reed, and William H. Reed who served in Companies F and I.

Read, John B. 6B
Read, Edward W. (brother) 6B
Read, J.O. (brother) 6B
Read, Lloyd H. (brother) 6B
Read, G.D. 6E
Read, Oscar E. 6FG
Read, William H. 6FG

6th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry
So, we now know who he was in general sense, and that he died during the war, but we don't know how, e.g. dod - died of desease, or kia - killed in action.
I could find no individual roster list which might give an insight into what became of the 3 Reed brothers. I'll post this information to some geneology/civil war forums and see what else I can find because there's a story behind these stones.

I've attached the regimental history. The 6th Infantry Regiment was organized at Cave City, Kentucky, in November, 1861, and included in Cofer's 1st Kentucky Infantry Battalion. Its members were raised in the counties of Nelson, Spencer, Hardin, Franklin, Barren, Green, Allen, Anderson, Bullitt, and Simpson. It became part of the Orphan Brigade or Louisville Legion. This regiment lost 108 killed and wounded at Shiloh, sustained 18 casualties at Baton Rouge, then was active at Vicksburg. During the war it was assigned to General Hanson's, Helm's, and J.H. Lewis' Brigade. It fought with distinction at Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, then saw action in the Atlanta Campaign. In the fall of 1864 the unit was mounted, and aided in the defense of Savannah and the campaign of the Carolinas. It lost seventeen percent of the 269 engaged at Murfreesboro and 220 saw action at Chickamauga. The unit totalled 263 men and 221 arms in December, 1863. The 6th surrendered with the Army of Tennessee on April 26, 1865. The field officers were Colonels Martin H. Cofer and Joseph H. Lewis, Lieutenant Colonel William L. Clarke, and Majors Thomas H. Hays and George W. Maxson.

BTW, a mounted infantryman is an infantryman that is not trained to fight from a horse, as compared to the cavalry who could do either. I'm not sure what the distinction between 'dragoon', the other term for a mounted infantryman and a mounted infantryman is, if any. LOL, in researching this, I found the term 'mounted rifle', which is yet another distinction.

BTW#2, can you post directions on how to find this gravesite. I'll be going down to Danville, KY later this year and who knows, I might have to stop by and see it.

Yes, we're a weird bunch.

GreenmanTim said...

Brilliant sleuthing, Mr. Crone! Capt. Joseph O. Reed served in a regiment - indeed in the Orphan Brigade - that saw very hard service. When Reed died, his regiment was between the Chattahoochie and Peachtree Creek, a few miles outside of Atlanta. I do not find any mention specifically of him in William C. Davis' book on The Orphan Brigade. Hope you are able to figure out the rest of the story.

Eleutheros said...

"I'm not sure what the distinction between 'dragoon', the other term for a mounted infantryman and a mounted infantryman is, if any."

The terms are not always used precisely, but mounted infantry used horses (or other mounts, mules, etc) to move the units to the theater of battle and once there they maneuvered just like infantry, just as if they had walked there.

Dragoons used their mobility as part of the battle strategy. During a battle they would dismount and form ranks on foot. But as part of the battlefield maneuvers they would remount and deploy elsewhere.

Mounted infantry, also called mounted riflemen, were armed with the same weapons as the regular infantry, mainly the very long .58 Springfield (or imported Enfield).
Once battle was joined, it would have been difficult to remount with such a cumbersome weapon and move about.

Calvary were armed with sabers and revolvers and sometimes with a very short carbine, either the breech loaded .58 or the muzzle loaded "muskatoon".

Dragoon units were also regularly armed with pistols and sabers to defend during maneuvering, but the main offensive weapon was the carbine which they could stow in the saddle holster or on their backs and be away instantly.

Could go on, but how's that for material in Dan's peacenik blog, eh??

Dan Trabue said...


Who are you guys, really?!

Dan, it's the Garnettsville Graveyard and it's pretty easy to find. If you were to get on Dixie Hwy (31W) near Ft Knox and turn on KY-1638 (turn Right if you're heading away from Louisville or Left if you're heading toward Louisville). There's only one way to turn. You'll be following the signs to Otter Creek Park.

It's off that road, maybe a mile or two on the Right. If you reach the creek you've gone too far. It's right before you get to the Otter Creek overpass.

Dan Crone said...

Eleutheros, that's great information, it saves me hours of research. Greenmantim thanks for your work too, I wish that the records were better for the 6th. I don't know if Lillian Henderson's rosters covers the 6th and no one's bothered to put it online, but I couldn't find a roster list but for the CWSS. It might be time to adopt them and make my own page. Dan, the 3 of us are part of a secret organization to turn all blogs into a civil war blogs. Do not resist. You will be assimilated...

Dan Crone said...

Sorry, I do most my research on GA soldiers. The Henderson rosters were only for Georgia... BTW, Blogger comments has been down most all weekend. I didn't do it, really.

Anonymous said...

I happened on this site after reading a B. Crawford column in today's Courier-Journal on the disappearance of Garnettsville.
I am a decendant of the Reads. My great-grandmother, a Read, was reared in West Point. Her family owned an inn situated on the river there - Read House may have been the name. It, like many larger properties, was temporarily confiscated as a hospital for the wounded during the Civil War.
I think several Read family members were buried in that cemetery. One was missing a suitable grave marker. My parents found that military grave markers are provided free of charge by the government, and so they had one made by Keith Monument Company in the early '90s for whichever Read was in need.
If you are still interested in the history of the Reads who may be buried there, my mother, who is nearly 82, has all that geneological info. I think she said an historian named Briggs in West Point has some info -- some of which is inaccurate!

Dan Crone said...

I was organizing bookmarks and revisited this page. Anonymous, if you happen this way again, I'd be interested, hope your Mom is still doing well. An email to Dan at dancrone.com will work.

To Dan Trabue, Happy New Year, and thanks for not passing by:

By S.A. Jones

Only a soldier's grave! Pass by,
For soldiers, like other mortals, die.
Parents had he -- they are far away;
No sister weeps o'er the soldier's clay;
No brother comes, with tearful eye;
It's only a soldier's grave -- pass by.

True, he was loving, and young, and brave,
Though no glowing epitaph honors his grave;
No proud recital of virtues known,
Of griefs endured, or triumphs won;
No tablet of marble, or obelisk high; --
Only a soldier's grave: -- pass by.

Yet bravely he wielded his sword in fight,
And he gave his life in the cause of right!
When his hope was high, and his youthful dream
As warm as the sunlight on yonder stream;
His heart unvexed by sorrow or sigh; --
Yet, 'tis only a soldier's grave: - pass by.

Yet, we should mark it -- the soldier's grave,
Some one may seek him in hope to save!
Some of the dear ones, far away,
Would bear him home to his native clay:
'Twere sad, indeed, should they wander nigh,
Find not the hillock, and pass him by.

WHS: Echoes said...

I tried emailing you but it came back unable to deliver so I'll ask here. I would like to get more information on Major Thomas H. Hays and/or if you have it, a picture of the tombstone?

Anonymous said...

Hmmn. Hi, Dan. Hope you're doing well. One of these days I'll set up a blog and I'd like to link to this page and use your gravesite photograph. BTW, this is not a gov't issued tombstone...they all look the same. As to inability to contact me, civilwar@dancrone.com should work.

Geoff Walden said...

This is indeed the Joseph O. Read who was in Co. B, 6th Ky. Inf. (BTW, the 6th Ky. Inf. didn't surrender in April 1865 in NC - they surrendered on May 6, 1865, in Washington, GA - the regimental histories entered in the NPS CWSSS are not 100% accurate).

Joseph O. Read became a leader of guerrillas in the area of Hardin and Meade Cos., KY - hence the rank of Capt. He was not with the 6th Ky. Inf. when he died, but I don't know how he died (this is written from memory - I can't find my notes on the man just now).

The Sons of Confederate Veterans in Elizabethtown, KY, are in the process of getting a military marker for his grave.

Geoff Walden said...

WHS:Echoes - tried to contact you re: Maj. Thomas H. Hayes. Please send me an e-mail at geoff_walden (at) hotmail.com.