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Cemetery Photography Project

While doing this project Leon is also making photos of all known veteran's graves from the Spanish-American War back to the Revolutionary War. Many of these headstones might not even mention the veteran's military service. Those that do not have any information pertaining to military service were found by the fact that they had either applied for pensions based on that service or were members of a military organization such as the G.A.R. after the war. This was particularly true of those who had served in the Confederacy and applied for a pension from the State of Tennessee when it became available. Some examples of these headstones for veterans of the Civil War may be seen below by clicking on the names or small picture.

Click on each image to view full size and use your Browser's "BACK" button to return here.

O. S. R. Mendenhall served as a Private in the 37th North Carolina, Infantry, C.S.A. He received a pension from the State of Tennessee and is buried in the Chesney Cemetery.

Abraham Browning served as a 1st Sergeant in Ashby's 2nd Tennessee Calvary, C.S.A. He and his friend Richard Brewer were both captured and spent time in a Union prison camp. Both of these veterans returned home after the war and both of them and later their widows received pensions from the State of Tennessee for their service in the Confederate Army. In the 1930's the Tennessee Valley Authority moved the remains of both of these veterans to Big Barren Memorial Cemetery.

Robert Warden served as a Private in Ashby's 2nd Tennessee Calvary, C.S.A. and he is buried in the Taylor Grove Church Cemetery in Sharps Chapel. The headstone is a good example of the type that may be ordered today through the Veteran's Administration. To do this you have to prove their service and this is best done with pension records since they did not receive a discharge from the Confederate Government. Headstones for Confederate veterans have a peak on them as shown here where as the Union Veterans headstones are rounded on top. Some have stated the peaked top is to keep Yankees from sitting on the headstones.

Presented here are examples of two headstones for John H. Popejoy, who served as a private in 1st Tennessee Infantry, U.S.A. There are several examples of these in the cemeteries of Union County. It appears that when the veteran died that the family would get the U.S. military marker. Sometime later when the family could afford a larger headstone they would place the second marker. One of the advantages of this to the family researcher is that the older government headstones did not have any dates on them. This second headstone indicated his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. He is buried in the J.H. Popejoy Cemetery in Luttrell.

William Bridges served as a Private in the 7th Tennessee Mounted Infantry, U.S.A. This is an example of the style of the military headstone that is available today for veterans of the Civil War. Again you need proof of military service such as a discharge of pension. He is buried in the Lost Creek Cemetery that is located in the Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area.

Elbert Sexton served as a Private in the 2nd Tennessee Calvary, U.S.A.. Apparently the family had his birth and death engraved locally after receiving the headstone and before placing it at the grave. He is buried in the Butcher Cemetery.

M.F. Irwin who served as a First Sergeant in the 7th Tennessee Mounted Infantry, has G.A.R. badge and crossed sabers engraved on it. He is buried in the Stout - Dossett Cemetery.

The marker for George W. Williams shows that he served as a Private in the 6th Tennessee. A second marker is actually is the footstone for this grave and has the birth and death dates for him. He is buried in the G.W. Williams Cemetery in Sharps Chapel.

The headstone for King David Fields who served as a private in the 9th Tennessee Calvary and is lying against a large tree in the Big Barren Memorial Cemetery. In the 1930's when the TVA was moving all of the graves to make way for the backwaters of Norris Lake, this stone was brought over to this cemetery, but the remains were re-interred in the National Cemetery in Knoxville. Nobody to this day knows why. The second picture shows his marker in the National Cemetery.

These are just a few examples of the over 800 pictures that have been taken so far. Contributed by Leon Graves.