Tag Archives: United States National Cemetery

FINDING FORGOTTEN HEROES

FINDING FORGOTTEN HEROES

On a recent trip to Nashville, to cross something off my Bucket List…….

One thing I wanted to do before I could no longer remember the songs, was to see, Crosby, Stills and Nash. It was great by the way. And no better venue than the Ryman Auditorium. My husband also wanted to check out the National cemetery north of Nashville, and try to locate his great grand-uncle. Success!!

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We were actually in search of this particular one. My husband had an uncle that fought in the Civil War, Benjamin Franklin Black. He is forever in the Nashville National Cemetery. There are 150 nationally important National cemeteries in the United States. Mostly with burials of veterans and military personnel, but, not always exclusively. Sometimes buried with spouses.

Upon entering the cemetery, as with any National cemetery, you are speechless. It is overwhelming. Perfectly aligned white monuments, curving, straight and across hills. It is an experience to be certain. It will bring tears to your eyes thinking of all those who have died in service who lay beneath the well-manicured grass, others who bravely served and were able to have lives, families and careers.

Here is my husband, Patrick beside the headstone of Pvt. Benjamin Franklin Black, his great grand-uncle. Here is Benjamin’s bio. and service record. Benjamin never married, he died at the age of twenty-three, serving the north in the Civil War.

Patrick and Benjamin

Enlisted on 7/21/1861 at Camp Joe Holt as a Private.
On 9/9/1861 he mustered into “A” Co. KY 6th Infantry
He died of wounds on 10/30/1863
He was listed as: Wounded 9/19/1863 Chickamauga, GA (Severe wound in right leg, amputated)

Additional Information:
Benjamin Franklin Black was born near Visalia, Kenton County, Kentucky in 1840. He was the son of Elmore Black and Rosannah Abercrombie. He was the grandson of William Abercrombie, killed in the War of 1812 at the Siege of Ft. Meigs, Ohio in 1813. Ben had two brothers that also served in the Union Army during the Civil War. They were: Pvt. Samuel G. Black, Co.B, 53rd Ky.Mounted Inf. and Cpl. William H. Black, 82nd Indiana Vol. Inf.
Benjamin enlisted in the 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry at Camp Joe Holt, Indiana on July 21, 1861. He was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee on April 7, 1862. Captured near Laverne, Tennssee in December 1862. Paroled in March 1863 and returned to his regiment. Wounded in right knee on September 19, 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. Sent to Army hospital #12, Nashville, Tennessee. Died from shock after amputation of right leg on October 13, 1863.

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IMPRESSIONS

IMPRESSIONS

Burial Impressions

My husband and I went to Redstone arsenal Sunday. It is the Army installation on which he works. He had told me there were a lot of cemeteries there, so, we got our map and started to search. Sometimes, he and a guy he works with, will drive around base, and they had spotted some.

We were able to see seven of them. The others were inaccessible to due to restrictions. I guess this is where they blow up stuff. On the south side, there are numerous bunkers, still in use. The base is covered in wild life. I had my camera at the ready. The best shot I got of any critter was this butterfly, feeding on appropriately, Butterfly Weed.

I saw a wild turkey, but, he escaped into the woods before we got in camera range. I think I scared my husband several times, when I would say ” look! ” . Mostly it was because I saw a bird I had never seen, only in books. It seemed very peaceful everywhere on base. It was quiet, no planes, helicopters or explosions. Given, it was a Sunday.

One thing that was quite disconcerting, was when we got to Fennil cemetery. I noticed it was quite large, but, only had three headstones, and they were very spread out across the area. Upon walking through Fennil, it was apparent, there were many more people buried here. There were depressions, covered in oak leaves. Long ago, someone was buried in those graves. They were lost and forgotten somewhere along the way. I did some research of the three people whose headstones are at Fennil cemetery. This appeared to be a black cemetery.

Corporal Joseph Beasley, was in the 12th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry.

Corp. Joseph Beasley

Silla Moore- could not find any info, although, there is another cemetery, Moore, could be related.

Silla Moore

Mary Lightford- no info found

Mary Lightford

According to records, there are forty-six historic cemeteries located on Redstone Arsenal.After the United States Congress passed the National Cemetery Act in 1973, discussion of establishing a National Cemetery at Redstone Arsenal was revived since the Mobile National Cemetery, the only other National Cemetery in Alabama at the time, was out of space, partially due to the dramatic casualty load from the Vietnam War. After consulting with the Army Memorial Affairs Agency, however, it was decided that there was no need to expand the current national cemetery program. There was no discussion at this time of relocating any of the cemeteries on the installation.

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