Confederate infantryman honored in descendents’ ceremony

By: Scott Marshall
The Amherst New Era-Progress
May 09, 2012

Descendents of a Confederate infantryman laid to rest in a quiet Amherst County cemetery near the Little Piney River gathered Sunday to bestow a unique honor.

They honored Joshua “Boss Josh” Campbell, who fought with the 13th Virginia Infantry, in a ceremony presented by the Kirkwood Otey Chapter 10, United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The UDC created the Southern Cross of Honor Medal after the Civil War.

“It is quite the honor,” said Teresa Roane, archivist at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. It’s a ceremony that not only is special for local UDC chapters, “but also to the people who were related to him.”

About 125 people attended the ceremony.

The plans began after one of the descendents contacted the Kirkwood Otey chapter, said Tim Hamilton, commander of the Private N.B. Ponton Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 2179. The camp was chartered in 2010 and since has been named outstanding camp from the Virginia division of the SCV.

The camp has 14 Joshua Campbell descendents.

Hamilton said Campbell was a farmer and briefly returned home to harvest crops.

“The story goes that one of his children was a lookout while he was home from the war,” Hamilton said. “The boy, they had him up in a big tree,” and he fell and was seriously injured.

Hamilton is a descendent of several Confederate veterans, namely Lewis Hamilton, who fought with the 19th Heavy Artillery unit.

“His parents died when he was very young, and he was raised by relatives,” Hamilton said. His ancestor signed up to fight when he was 15.

Hamilton also is related to the Rucker and Riley families, and James Rucker fought with the 51st Virginia Infantry, whose brother died after the first battle of Manassas.

For the ceremony at Campbell’s grave in the Elmer Massie cemetery near Lowesville, UDC members and others dressed in period costumes, and a dressed-out honor guard posted the American flag, the first Confederate national flag and the Virginia flag, and a volley of shots was fired in salute.

Dozens of descendents of soldiers and others attended.

Hundreds of Confederate veterans are buried in Amherst and Nelson counties.

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