[Part of a project of mine to document all CS burials in Lawrence County, MS, and 16 other SE MS counties. Just reporting the research.] SERVICE NOT VERIFIED. Jeptha Van Cotton (b. LA or Franklin County, MS, 1844-d. Lawrence County, MS, 1931) is listed in some databases and in some family histories as having been a private in "Co. A, 14th MS Infantry," and he even has a Confederate marker that states that he served in that company and unit. However, he never served in that unit or any other Confederate unit, insofar as I can determine. He filed Confederate Pension applications in Lawrence County, MS, in 1916, 1921, & 1924, all of which were routinely rubberstamped. In those pensions, he claimed to have enlisted in the summer of 1863 into the 14th MS Infantry, but a close reading of his applicatons shows that he actually meant two different cavalry units : Power's MS Cavalry and the 14th Confederate Cavalry, but, again, he has no service records in those units and no service records in the 14th MS Infantry. [An Elijah W. Cotton from Franklin County, MS, did serve in Power's MS Cavalry; Elijah is surely a cousin of Jeptha's, as Jeptha lived at one time in Franklin County. Also, a Joseph Cotton served in the 14th Confederate Cavalry.] Had he enlisted when he said he did, there would be surviving service records. Likewise, has he served until war's end, there would be a surviving war's-end parole for him. Further proof that he did not serve comes from his VA headstone application, which was initially rejected by the VA because they [the keepers of all Civil War records] could not find any service records for him. As per protocol, the VA asked the State of MS to verify his service, which the state did by referring to Confederate Pension applications. The State found, naturally, that his pension application had been approved by the Lawrence County Pension Board, since local pension boards rarely failed to approve an application. Even his widow, Mae Cotton, received a Confederate Pension in Lawrence County, MS, in 1933. I don't think that Jeptha Van Cotton was ever a Confederate soldier. Buried in the Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery, at the intersection of Sontag-Nola Road and Ruby Lea Road, Sontag, Lawrence County, MS, with a Confederate marker that mis-states ("14th MS Infantry") the unit he falsely claimed to have served in.