Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Ultimate Civil Wargasm Part II

Me and Jerry with Brigadier General John Echols

       The ultimate Civil Wargasm would hit its first snag at Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, Virginia. We pulled into this huge cemetery and immediately found the grave of Brigadier General John Echols. We jumped from the van and had our pictures made in front of the vault that contained the remains of General Echols. If you look at the photograph above, General Echols is in a vault that is about even with the second block from the bottom and on my side of the mausoleum. Following us taking this photograph, Jerry and I began our search for the other Confederate general in this cemetery.
       Brigadier General Robert Doak Lilley commanded a brigade in Early's raid on Washington where he was wounded in the arm and was disabled following amputation. Now, I have narcolepsy and I get ill very easily when I haven't had much sleep. I had gone to sleep about 5 a.m. the morning of this trip and slept about an hour and a half. Jerry, Melanie, Stacie, and myself had crossed this entire cemetery about 123 times and none of us were able to find General Lilley. I was hot, exhausted, and frustrated, yet none of us were able to find Lilley. I resorted to asking the locals if they knew where he was buried. A woman told me she thought she had seen the name somewhere before and a man told me the general location. Jerry, being much smarter than me when it comes to slowing down and paying attention noticed something that I never would have. In the book we use to find graves, it said that General Lilley is buried very close to Major Jedediah Hotchkiss's grave. He found the grave and off we went searching for Lilley. We never found him. I decided that Lilley's tombstone must have been damaged by vandals and been removed. Stacie proved us all wrong by contacting the woman that oversee's the cemetery. Stacie left a message on her answering machine and she later replied that she could take us directly to General Lilley's grave. We were in Richmond at this point and will have to return on a later date. 
       I was frustrated when we left Staunton and we struck out for Charlottesville, Virginia. I figured we wouldn't have time to get all the generals there, but hoped we would. We went first to the University of Virginia Cemetery and Jerry found Brigadier General Carnot Posey before I could. General Posey was wounded in the thigh at the Battle of Bristoe Station and died a month after being struck by artillery fire. 

Jerry and me at the grave of Brigadier General Carnot Posey

Brigadier General Carnot Posey

       We immediately left the University of Virginia, both Jerry and I both had to refrain from shouting at the students there, "Roll Tide!!!" We both are big Alabama Crimson Tide fans and love to rub that in to all other colleges. We struck out for the next cemetery on our list, Maplewood Cemetery about five minutes away. The sun was getting low in the sky, but we pressed onward. We rolled into Maplewood and found the graves of Brigadier General John Marshall Jones and Brigadier General Armistead Lindsay Long. Jones was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness in the spring of 1864 and Long served on Lee's staff. Jerry mentioned the fact that although he has never drank any alcoholic beverage, he wished we would have brought some rum to place on Jones's grave. The neighborhood where Jones's is buried made me think that the best thing to do was pour the rum on his grave or someone would come steal the beverage and drink it themselves. 

Me and Jerry with Rum Jones

       We left Maplewood Cemetery and headed to Riverside Cemetery where Brigadier General Thomas Lafayette Rosser rested. He was a cavalry commander in Virginia. We got to his grave just before dark and had our pictures made. We then struck out for the grave of Brigadier General George Wythe Randolph who rests in the Jefferson Family Cemetery at Monticello. General Randolph had spent some time as the Confederate Secretary of War and then as a brigadier general. He died in 1867 of tuberculosis. We found Monticello closed at such a late hour. Jerry was very frustrated because he said it's illegal to deny a person access to a cemetery before dark. Nevertheless, we were forced to give up on finding General Randolph until a future trip. Our fifty plus general trip was quickly falling apart. We planned to return to Alabama with 52 generals, yet we would come home with only 49. More on that in part III...

Me and Ole Man at the grave of Thomas Lafayette Rosser


  1. I am resisting the thought that I need to make a list of these men and start reading about them! No! I cannot undertake another major learning project! But I am so impressed with what your tour revealed maybe I will just pick out a couple...... Again, who planned this trip? It is awe inspiring!

  2. Shirley, I planned the trip and don't worry about picking the men, most are in my blogs, but I am working on starting my own website with all these guys bios. There were 425 Confederate general's and Jerry and I have their graves on our bucket list.