Civil war vet gets new marker

December 1, 2011

Ted King

A Confederate soldier has a new marker.

The Times publisher Kenneth Jones and his wife, Lois, were joined by Lois’ first cousin Johnny Gogue to set a replacement tombstone on the grave  of William A. Plumb. Plumb was the great-great-grandfather of Lois Jones and Johnny Gogue.

Lois found the grave at a cemetery near Galatia, Ill. 20 years ago following a search using records found in the genealogy society of Saline County, Ill..

Plumb was a private in the 33rd Ohio Infantry, Company D who listed Scioto County, Ohio as his home when he enlisted. The regiment fought in several major battles, including the occupation of Nashville, Tenn., and the battles of Stones River, Chicamauga, and Atlanta.

Plumb, who died on Dec. 13, 1890, claimed to have been wounded in the Battle of Perryville, Ky. (the Battle of Chaplin Hills) on Oct. 8, 1862. Perryville is considered by historians to be one of the bloodier battles of the Civil War. Following the battle, the Confederate army withdrew to Tennessee, keeping Kentucky in the Union for the rest of the war.

After the war, Plumb, who had moved into southern Illinois, applied for a pension on the basis of his battle wound. Plumb’s application was denied due to a lack of  evidence.

Plumb’s marble tombstone was badly eroded and had sunk into the earth with only a few inches exposed. The family decided to contact the Veterans Administration to see if a replacement tombstone would be available for a Civil War veteran.

The VA requested documentation of Plumb’s service, including his discharge papers and pension application. A photo of the existing tombstone was  required to prove that it had become illegible. The VA approved the application for a standard government marker, with the option of marble or granite. The original stone was made of marble. The family chose a granite marker because of the durability of the stone. The new headstone is in the same style as the original marker installed in 1890. 

Union tombstones are curved on top and Confederate tombstones are pointed.

The VA furnished the marker at no cost to the family, but did not pay for installation. A truck delivered the tombstone to the home of Jones’ mother where it lay on her front porch until it was installed. The old tombstone was removed and a cement base was poured to provide stability for the granite tombstone.

“We were surprised and pleased the VA would provide a tombstone after all these years,” Kenneth Jones said.

© 2011 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

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