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Re: Looking for Ancestors Grave
In Response To: Looking for Ancestors Grave ()

Charles Ray Jewell wrote: >>>I'm looking for one of my ancestors grave. His name is Joel F. Jordan, PVT. Co. C 12th La. Inf. Died Oct.18,1861 at Columbus, Ky. THANKS For Any HELP!<<<

My research indicates that 42 men of the 12th Louisiana Infantry died while the regiment was stationed at Columbus, Kentucky [September 4, 1861 - March 1, 1862). Muster rolls covering November 1861 through April 1862 were lost or destroyed. Based upon the large number of 12th Louisiana volunteers whose records of Confederate military service simply end at Columbus, and some post-war commentary from surviving veterans, I suspect that many more than the 42 recorded deaths occurred while the regiment was stationed at Columbus.

Location of the remains is an area open to more research. Confusing this research is the fact that some families placed headstones in local cemeteries back in Louisiana and their descendants now don't know whether the remains were returned home and buried, or a memorial headstone was erected with the actual remains still in Kentucky or Tennessee.

Some of the men were evacuated to Confederate hospitals set up in Union City, Tennessee some 20 miles away and died there. Scattered Civil War burials around Union City were disinterred after the war and reburied in a mass grave over which a monument to these Unknown Confederate Dead was erected in 1869. Mr. R. C. Forrester, Obion County Historian in Union City, gave me this information and has a photo of the monument in his book "Glory and Tears: Obion County Tennessee, 1860-1870" (A Forrester/Wood Publication, Second Edition, 1990).

Many of the 12th Louisiana records simply give the date of death in September or October 1861 without comment on place. However, the service records of 11 of these men, including Private Joel F. Jordan, state that they died at Columbus, Kentucky.

Back in 1998, I got in touch with Bill Stevens [Manager of Columbus-Belmont State Park], and Dr. Bill Mulligan [Murray State University] concerning the possible location of these graves. These two men were working to improve the interpretation at this historic Civil War site. Neither was aware of any Civil War era burials in or around Columbus.

Dr. Murray wrote: "There was a hospital at Columbus -- it is one of very few structures that survived the 1927 flood. The whole town was moved afterwards and never really recovered. -- I know of mass graves at Camp Beauregard, part of the outer defenses, and a few marked graves there, but none at Columbus."

He described Camp Beauregard as being "between Water Valley and Feliciana in far western Graves County, maybe 20 miles or so east of Columbus off U. S. Highway 45 and/or Kentucky State Route 94. Camp Beaureguard has a nice Louisiana ring to it and both the 11th and 12th Louisiana Infantry regiments were stationed at or near Columbus. My first reaction was that this location of Camp Beauregard was a bit strange given the distance involved. Camp Brown where the 12th Louisiana regiment stayed for a couple of weeks before moving into Columbus was near Union City which is also only 20 miles away. Camp Beauregard requires some further research.

At the recommendation of Dr. Murray, I wrote to the Hickman County Historical Society in Clinton, Kentucky about my search. However, I received no reply and let the issue drop for a time due to more pressing research needs.

Your query prompts me to want to resume the search. Hopefully this new Kentucky CWMB will open up new avenues of information for us.

Meantime, I would like to know more about your ancestor. Please contact me directly.

Hugh Simmons

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Looking for Ancestors Grave
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