Discussion A Life Carved In Stone, Epitaphs Through Time

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
grave headstone.JPG

We don't frequently see genuine epitaphs carved on headstones of those recently buried. I'm not sure when these inscriptions went out of vogue but they were around from the time anyone thought marking permanent graves with stone was a good idea. I've known people who refused any marker whatsoever, cremated, ashes spread to the wind somewhere, they left it to those left behind to remember them their won way. To each his own. We see brief sentences or one or two words. " Our Angel ' bespeaks someone's tragedy as well as a paragraph could convey.

Still, they're awfully interesting and not really ghoulish. These few words remarking someone's life can be a terrific look at History and who walked through Time when- and how. I've been on the watch for ACW epitaphs, a little tough to find so if anyone has one, please feel free to add?

Found a few of these. Soldiers' epitaphs tend towards sounding the same no matter which war. One from the UK, 400 years ago, not ACW but a soldier.
odd 19 epitapj dragoon king.JPG

" Kings and Dragoons when call'd must march away ". So must they all.

A Union soldier's grave sported this ( don't ask me where, lost the source )

" Mustered Out ".

odd 14 epitaph soldiers.JPG

Another soldier, probably from a family of wealth. Those carved words could be pricey.

Some seem a warning to be nice in life or risk being forever known for earthly deeds.
odd 10 epitaph miser.jpg

- a notorious miser

And a well known liar
odd 7 epitaph liar.jpg


A commentary of something we'll never know;
odd 1 epi 1861 cold friends.JPG

Ouch.

There's also a lesson in not giving one's friend who has a sense of humor the task of burying you.
odd epi 3 milestone ny.JPG


odd epi 1862.JPG

Oh dear.

THEN there's the descriptive narration about how someone got there.
odd 4 epitaph accident.JPG

Humor can even lighten death.

odd 18 epitaph tree.JPG

Can you imagine? It does beat ' RIP '.



odd 5 epitaph death peom.JPG

Quite a few quite lovely inscriptions give you a sense of the person being remembered.

odd 13 epitaph sailor.JPG

Had to have been a fellow sailor memorializing Ben, no one else could come up with that.

We'd been at this for centuries. Epitaphs of soldiers killed between 1861 and 1865 seem hard to find. Despite our thousands of graves in National Cemeteries marking only name, dates and regiments there are headstones scattered through cemeteries North and South bearing inscriptions inclusive of epitaphs. If anyone know of one they'd be willing to share, would you mind adding it please?
 

AnnaLee

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Thanks for the posting.
As a child I always 'enjoyed' seeing my cousins in eastern Ky yearly & visiting the cemeteries (they called them graveyards) near them. There were some very interesting epitaphs on the headstones. The inscriptions gave small biographies about the deceased. Also, when I visited Williamsburg years ago I noticed the same thing there. Those headstones are from the 16 & 1700s and give more info. Very interesting.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Thanks for the posting.
As a child I always 'enjoyed' seeing my cousins in eastern Ky yearly & visiting the cemeteries (they called them graveyards) near them. There were some very interesting epitaphs on the headstones. The inscriptions gave small biographies about the deceased. Also, when I visited Williamsburg years ago I noticed the same thing there. Those headstones are from the 16 & 1700s and give more info. Very interesting.

Best ever stone I've seen was probably shocking for the time. Maybe not? Perhaps laughing at death was the point, not necessarily laughing at the deceased. It said " Whoops ". Date, name and " Whoops ". It left a lot of questions but you got the point.


Yes, we called cemeteries ' graveyards ', too! ' Cemetery ' seems to have been reserved for Memorial Day ceremonies etc. Also tombstone, not headstone. Wonder when inscriptions became less used? As you say there seem to have been quite a few in past centuries but today you rarely see one. They're still around just don't seem common.
 

Lubliner

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
I was really expecting an onslaught of postings with pictures, and very soon. I had thought of Bonnie Parker again (mentioned her in some other thread) but wrong era. Of course I could go on a hunt, but I keep getting that "Whoops" citation above and thinking, "Please Don't Tread on the Grass". Maybe a simple "Thank You" would say enough.

Lubliner.
 
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