A study in “honors at the gravesite”

Posted on September 30, 2008 by


I’d like to add more to the Levi Miller investigation, but that is ongoing. So, in the meantime, I thought I’d launch a different study. Actually, I’d like to ask a question that evolves out of one of the comments I received yesterday about individual perspective of what it means to have gravesite ceremonies for Civil War soldiers.

I’ve mentioned before that I have eight ( 8 ) direct (meaning lineal, or all distant grandfathers) who all served in the Confederate army. I have so many distant uncles who served in gray, I can’t even name them all without looking back at my records (so they won’t be part of this study).

Three (Charles Robert Hilliard, James Harvey Mayes, Henry K. Emerson) served in Co. D, 7th Virginia Cavalry.

Two (Siram W. Offenbacker and Absalom Nauman) served in 2nd Co. M, 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry.

One (Joseph Richards) served in W.H. Chapman’s Dixie Artillery and possibly (late in the war) the 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (incidentally, W.H. Chapman later became Mosby’s second-in-command)

Two (Thomas Eaton and Garnett Nicholson served in the 58th and 82nd Virginia Militia, respectively).

There may be a ninth (9) direct distant grandfather (William Davison) who served in a Kentucky unit. Yet, I can’t prove that the man in the unit with the same name as my ancestor were one in the same (I do know, however, that William had two brothers that served in a Union Infantry unit from Kentucky).

So, that said, if I were going to make a round trip in one day to all of the graves (I know the location of all but two) and put Confederate flags on these graves (they did serve in the Confederate army), would there be anything wrong with that? If so, why. If there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that, why?

I am interested in hearing different perspectives on the practice of placing flags on Confederate graves. I’ve mentioned some of my different feelings on this before, but this time, I’d like to hear what others think.