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Civil war veterans receive new gravemarkers

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By Rebecca Roscoe

Seven Civil War veterans, whose gravestones had deteriorated, received new federal markers at Magnolia Cemetery, just in time for Memorial Day.

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The Magnolia Cemetery Committee and Magnolia Lions Club worked together to identify the gravesites, order the markers and decorate with American flags.

There are now 114 identifiable veterans in the large cemetery outside Magnolia Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  

“The stones were so old that it made it hard to read the dates of death,” said Gil Myers, vice president of the Cemetery Committee and of the Magnolia Lions Club.

The Union soldiers (service dates in parentheses) who received markers are James Hall (1861-1864); Hawley Perkins (1861-1863); Thomas Perkins (1863-1864); William Ragland (1863-1864); Jasper Tharp (1864-1865); William Tharp (1863-1865); and Benjamin Wheeler (1861-1864).

Ralph Lobb, a member of the Lions Club who passed away in 2009, had a great passion for history. He compiled the list of names of those who needed markers for Margie Hines, who coordinates the annual decoration efforts.

Howard Ragland and James “Buzzy” Turner, members of the cemetery committee, used maps found in archived documents to locate the graves.

American flags, purchased through donations to the cemetery committee and the Lions Club, were placed on each of the veterans’ graves in honor of their service. The flags were taken down after Memorial Day and will be reused next year.

“It took a total of over one and a half hours to decorate all 114 gravesites by half a dozen volunteers. It is noteworthy to pay our respects to the veterans from that time,” said Myers.

Myers said many of those Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery are ancestors of Magnolia residents.

More than 1,200 people are buried in Magnolia Cemetery. The earliest dates on gravemarkers are in the 1840’s.

For more information on the cemetery or the Magnolia Cemetery Committee, call 270-324-3472 or e-mail Gil Myers at gmyers@scrtc.com.