Tuesday, February 22, 2011

T. M. Spencer, Carpenter on the ram, Queen of the West

Headstone in section 5, Evergreen Cemetery

This inscription quickly caught my attention as I had not thought previously of ship keeping tradesmen such as carpenters on their ship. Mr. Spencer may have been a "carpenter's mate" on the ship as that is the one naval title I have seen that may have applied to him.

The Queen of the West was built in Cincinnati in 1854 and purchased by the Union in 1862. It was then converted into a ram and joined the Union fleet, but the Confederacy captured it in February 1863. (Ironically, it then took part in a mission that sunk the USS Indianola, another ship that had been constructed in Cincinnati.)

I did find a link in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion that lists a James F. Foster of New York as a carpenter on this ship when the Confederates captured it. Maybe Mr. Spencer was lucky enough to avoid that fate, either by not being on that voyage or somehow escaping the Confederates when they captured the ship.

Here is a photo of the Queen, courtesy of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Harper's Weekly of February 28, 1863 has a story about this ship and its heroics near Vicksburg, along with the following engraving.


I found a couple more links with some information and illustrations about this ship. Here is  one  about the ship while under Union control, while this one focuses on the boat as Confederate property.

I'll also include this wikipedia link which has a few illustrations as well.

Rest in peace, Mr. Spencer

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

James R. Reed , Co. K 54 KY Infantry

Headstone in Oakland Cemetery, Grant's Lick, KY
James Reed enlisted in Company K of the 54th Kentucky Infantry in September of 1864 and served for about one year before his discharge on September 1 of 1865. He was discharged with a disability due to rheumatism and chest trouble.

The 54th Kentucky spent most of its time (after being organized in September 1864) in its native state, fighting against guerrillas, but did participate in the Saltville Raid led by George Stoneman in late 1864.

In his post war years, Reed was active with the James Albert post of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Rest in peace, soldier

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Harmon L. Parker, 18 KY Infantry

Headstone in Evergreen Cemetery
Harmon Parker was a private in Company G of the 18th Kentucky Infantry. This unit formed in early 1862 and took part in the battle at Richmond, Kentucky, later that year. They then moved to Covington, Kentucky, just a few minutes away from where Mr. Parker is now buried. His unit spent the rest of 1862 in various assignments in Kentucky, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee early in 1863. They eventually took part in the battle of Chickamauga and then the campaign to open up Chattanooga. 

After the Union army captured Atlanta, this unit was involved in the attempt to capture John Bell Hood's Confederates and then participated in William Tecumsah Sherman's March to the Sea. The 18th traveled throughout the Carolina and was at the battle of Bentonville. It then ended its war service by participating in the Grand Review in Washington DC in late May 1865, before mustering out at Louisville, Kentucky in July o that same year.

Mr. Parker passed away in early 1911, at age 66, of cirrhosis of the liver and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.  

Rest in peace, soldier

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Willis Walker, 12 US Colored Heavy Artillery

Headstone in Evergreen Cemetery

Willis Walker was a member of Company F of the 12th Regiment of U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. This unit formed at Camp Nelson, Kentucky in mid-1864 and served in the Bluegrass State until being mustered out in April of 1866.

From what I have found on the Campbell County Genweb site,  he was born in Kentucky on July 4, 1847. His father was named Thomas.

Willis passed away on November 10, 1912 at 408 Isabella Street in Newport and was buried two days later. Information about his death came from Madeline Cornehead.

He is listed in the 1890 Veteran's Census, but his unit is called the 12th US Heavy Artillery, without the "colored" descriptor.

Rest in peace, soldier

Tuesday's the day

Just a quick announcement: my plan is to make a post every Tuesday - usually in the evenings, but maybe not always.

This is no unbreakable rule, and exceptions may occur, but I think it will bring some consistency here and let readers know what to expect.

When better weather arrives, hopefully I'll be able to find more headstones, names and stories to share, perhaps something like every Tuesday and Friday, but for now I'm going with Tuesday.

I'll have another headstone picture and info up in a few minutes.