Monday, November 22, 2010

Lewis A. Lavender rises from the grave

     While walking the grounds at Sheffield's Oakwood
Cemetery collecting names of veterans buried there
for the SCV project, I came across a Confederate
stone that had sank into the ground so far the name
was unreadable. I reported this information to Camp
Commander Todd Richardson and he thought we
should go fix the problem. Upon our arrival at the
cemetery, I was of the opinion we should go to the
main office and at least let the caretaker know our
intentions. Todd was of the opinion that getting
forgiveness would be a lot easier than getting
permission. Despite my qualms about digging in a
cemetery, we began our task.
     We weren't sure if the soldier was buried here or if this
was just a cenotaph. The distance we were forced to
dig caused me to think that we may possibly find the
answer. We finally managed to get deep enough to
pull the heavy stone from the ground and then tamped
rocks into the bottom of the hole. Hopefully this will
prevent the stone from sinking again.
     We learned the stone is for Lewis A. Lavender,
Second Lieutenant, Company C, 24th Alabama
Infantry Regiment. The 24th was organized at Mobile,
Alabama in August of 1861. Lavender was appointed
Second Lieutenant on November 8, 1861. The unit
remained in Mobile until joining the Army of
Tennessee when Braxton Bragg invaded Kentucky in
the fall of 1862. They would not see action until the
Battle of Murfreesboro where they fought in
Manigault's brigade. The 24th would remain in
Manigault's brigade for the remainder of the war.
Lt. Lavender was detached in August of 1863 and
sent home to arrest two deserters. His efficiency
report at this time states that he was an efficient
officer and attentive to his duties. He is listed as
present on every other muster roll. They fought at
Chickamauga, throughout the campaign for Altanta,
saw action at Franklin and Nashville. Out of the 680
men in the 24th Alabama in the spring of 1862, only
125 would be present to surrender. After fighting at
Bentonville, North Carolina, Lt. Lavender would be
one of those 125 men and was paroled on May 1,
     Is Lewis Lavender buried in Sheffield, Alabama? How
did his remains end up here? Did he live here at one
time? We may never know, but his marker is back up
for all to see and remember this loyal Confederate

1 comment:

  1. I remember the day you guys did this. Carlee was so proud to help! And I was proud you guys cared enough to make it right. Really cool that we got to go to the battlefield where he fought.