TX Cemetery Saturday, 8/20/2021, Hill County, Texas

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Probably gonna be a short thread, but maybe not. Only 2 small cemeteries visited early on a peaceful Saturday morning with a total of 8 Confederate veteran gravesites visited. My spouse and I got away early Friday for a three day weekend at Lake Whitney in Hill County. I got up and rolled out very early Saturday morning to visit a couple of cemeteries closeby while she slept in. The first stop was Blanton Cemetery in Blanton, Hill County, Texas. It was about a 15 minute drive from our cabin according to Google Maps. The time on my first pic shows that I arrived at 7:07am.
 

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Blanton Cemetery is on a gentle sloping hill. I walked about halfway down the hill first and took this picture looking back towards the cemetery entrance. As you can see the sun was just coming up. It was an exhilarating moment.


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Blanton,Texas is in northwest Hill County. I have been to Hill County many times but never in that part of the county. Very rural and beautiful country. Before the weekend, I didn't really know how much time or which day(s) I would have for cemetery visits. Up until last Wednesday night, I had a list of 5 possibilities for visits. A 6th one got added on Wednesday night. I had already decided that if it came down to only having time to visit one, Blanton Cemetery would be the choice. When we got there on Friday, it was apparent from the itinerary and summer heat that early Saturday morning was probably gonna be the only time I had for cemetery visits.

According to FindAGrave there are 282 burials at Blanton Cemetery. I was able to verify 6 Confederate veterans buried there. They are all fairly close to each other in the northeast part of the cemetery. Two have civilian gravestones and the other 4 have military gravestones. The cemetery needed mowing. I had Roundup with me but I didn't really have time for that. I can go again and do that on future trips. There is a lot of room for future burials. There is no historical marker there. I scraped 2-3 stones and sprayed all but one with D/2.

https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/1543145/blanton-cemetery
 

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Pvt. C.P. Corley, Co. B, 12th Texas Infantry(Young's Regiment. 8th Reg't Texas Inf.) 7 fold3 pages. He enlisted on March 17,1862 in Nacogdoches County for 3 years. If his d/o/b is correct on FindAGrave, he would've been 32 at enlistment. He was "Present" on the 2/29-6/30/1862 Company Muster Roll. On the July/August 1862 CMR he was "Absent. With rear division." It doesn't say why. On the September/October 1862 CMR he was "Absent. Sick at home since Aug. 31." Gap in records. Next CMR is March/April 1863 and he was "Absent. Sent to convalescent camp near Pine Bluff, Ark. April 25, '63." Another gap in his records. Next and last CMR is January/February 1864 and he was "Present". He had a younger brother who served in the same Company and Regiment.

From NPS:

"OVERVIEW:12th Infantry Regiment [also called 8th Regiment] was organized and mustered in Confederate service at Waco, Texas, during the spring of 1862. Its members were recruited in the towns and cities of Clarksville, Cameron, Hempstead, Nacogdoches, Fairfield, and Waco, and the counties of Comanche, Milam, and Grimes. The regiment was assigned to O. Young's and Waul's Brigade, Trans-Mississippi Department, and saw action in Louisiana and Arkansas. After fighting at Jenkins' Ferry, it moved to Hempstead and disbanded in the spring of 1865. The field officers were Colonel Overton Young; Lieutenant Colonels William Clark, B.A. Philpott, and James W. Raine; and Major Erastus Smith."

The 1870 Census shows he and wife living in Nacogdoches County and he being a farmer. He died in 1893. His widow filed a Pension Application on November 1, 1922, approved same day. I could not find a Headstone Application. His military flatstone got a good D/2 spraying before I left. The pictures aren't that great. The sun was still low on the eastern horizon, his gravesite was shaded and lighting conditions weren't favorable.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/52731046/catlet-petty-corley


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Sgt. David Pierce, Co. H, 30th Texas Cavalry. Only 3 fold3 pages...an Index Card, Company Muster-In Roll and 1 Company Muster Roll. He enrolled and Mustered-in at age 28 on July 28,1862 at Fort Graham(southwest of Blanton) for 3 years or the war. He was "Present" on the July/August 1863 Company Muster Roll. No other service records for him in fold3. From NPS:

"OVERVIEW:30th Cavalry Regiment [also called 1st Texas Partisan Rangers] was organized at Waco, Texas, during the summer of 1862. It was formed with about 800 from Waco and Round Rock, and Hill County. Assigned to D.H. Cooper's, Gano's, and Parsons' Brigade, Trans-Mississippi Department, it fought in Arkansas and later in the Indian Territory. The unit reported 16 casualties at Poison Spring and 19 at Cabin Creek. During May, 1865, it disbanded at Austin, Texas. Colonel Edward J. Gurley, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas W. Battle, and Major John H. Davenport were in command."

He is in the 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 Census in Hill County as a farmer. He died in 1916. Neither of his wives nor 8 children are buried in Blanton Cemetery. In my notes I had it that his gravestone needed cleaning. That was based on the pictures of it in FindAGrave. Apparently, someone cleaned it some since then. I sprayed it with D/2 after the picture. It oughta whiten up nicely over the next couple months. His gravestone is in the far northeastern corner of the cemetery. Lighting conditions were great. You might notice a Southern Cross Of Honor in the upper left of the picture. I noticed it. Check out the pics in his FindAGrave memorial. One of them says he is holding a Civil War sword.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48120983/david-pierce


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A Headstone Application for Sgt. Pierce was submitted by "O.A. Pierce" in January 1942. Unable to determine the Applicant's relation to Sgt. Pierce.

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2nd Lt. Levi Kennamer, Co. E, 48th Alabama Infantry. 6 fold3 pages. Levi "Kennemar" in fold3. He enlisted on March 31, 1862 for 3 years or the war. He was appointed to 2nd Lt. on May 27,1862. There is a Pay Voucher dated 7/8/1862 for pay from 4/8/62 - 7/7/62 for $237.83 and a Receipt dated the same in his records. The only other record is a note that he is on a Roster of Regimental Officers dated 10/25/1864. No way to tell from his fold3 records how much action he saw, but the 48th Alabama Infantry saw a lot of action and casualties.

https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=CAL0048RI

He was still in Alabama on the 1870 and 1880 Census as a farmer with property worth $1,200.00. Don't know when he came to Texas. According to his FindAGrave memorial, he was married twice and had 10 kids. He died in 1902. Only one of his wives and his 2 youngest children are also buried in Blanton Cemetery. His gravestone had a lot of yellow pollen on it. I scraped what I could off it and sprayed it good with D/2 after the picture.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/29860766/levi-bye-kennamer


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Pvt. Thomas F. Bigham, Co. G, 14th Texas Infantry. I could not find any service records for this soldier in Ancestry, fold3, NPS, Texas Muster Cards or Headstone Applications. I searched all different variations of his name and drew a blank. He died in April 1899. The only military service service documentation I found was a Widow's Pension Application submitted in July 1899, approved in October 1899 and it was only 4 pages. One of his sons was a witness. His widow said he served in "CO. G, Clark's Regt., Texas Inf." for 10 months. According to NPS, "Clark's Regt Texas Inf." is the 14th Texas Infantry. Perhaps he was a late war enlistee and no muster records survived, but he was only 21 when the war started. He and wife had 8 children. Only his wife and youngest child are also buried in Blanton Cemetery. Neither his military stone nor civilian stone needed cleaning.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/52730669/thomas-francis-bigham


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Lt. John G. Coley, Co. F, 20th Texas Infantry . 23 fold3 pages. He enrolled for duty on April 1, 1862 at age 36 in Robertson County for 3 years or the war. He was elected 1st Lt. on April 5, 1862. He Mustered-in on May 8, 1862 in Hempstead, Texas. He was "Present" on the July/August 1862 Company Muster Roll. On the Nov/Dec 1862 CMR he was "Absent with leave. Tendered resignation on 11/6/62 but it was refused." "Present" on the Jan/Feb 1863 CMR. The March/April 1863 CMR says he was "Discharged. Resignation accepted by the President March 2, 1863." The rest of his records are supply requisitions and pay vouchers. Postwar Census records say he was a farmer. He and his wife had 3 children. He died in 1903. His wife is buried there too. His gravestone got scraped and sprayed after the picture.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/79339031/john-g-coley


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John G. Coley first enlisted in 1862 in Co. for Robertson Cty., 18th Brigade, Texas State Troops.

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I would guess the Bighams must live near by and take care of the gravesite for their loved ones.
Lubliner.
I believe you are right. There are 10 Bighams buried in a cemetery in another town in Hill County north of Blanton.
 

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Pvt. Daniel B. Bills, Co. B, 34th Mississippi Infantry. 4 fold3 pages. He enlisted on February 26, 1862 for 3 years or the war. The Company elected a Captain and 3 Lieutenants that same day and there is a Certificate of such in his records. Hadn't seen one of those before. There's a 4 month gap in his records after that. The July/August 1862 Company Muster Roll is the last record "Discharged on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability July 4, 1862. Final statement of account given." The Surgeon's Certificate is not in his records. He filed a Pension Application in July 1899, approved July 1900. Said he'd been in Texas 21 years and was a farmer. Described some kind of disease suffered during the war but I couldn't make out all his handwriting after that. I could make out the words "Cold", "lungs", "kidney" and "bladder". He died in 1904. His wife and 2 kids are buried there too. He had a brother in the 34th Mississippi Infantry and one in the 37th Mississippi Infantry. According to FindAGrave, he had another brother named "Jonathan Bills" who was born in 1837,died on April 7,1862 and is buried in a tiny family cemetery/plot in Falkner,Mississippi. That ain't very far from Shiloh. I can't find any service records for him but he had to have been a Shiloh casualty. In my second picture below, that's Pvt. Bills' wife's grave next to him. Her gravestone was on the ground in the FindAGrave picture. Someone repaired it.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/213446627/daniel-b-bills


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The time on my final picture at Blanton Cemetery shows that I was there right at an hour. All but Pvt. Bills' gravesites are visible in the picture. Couldn't see his gravesite from that angle anyway. My visit there was very pleasant. Occasionally, a vehicle would pass by on the county road next to it but it was otherwise quiet and peaceful. I look forward to a quick visit there next year to check on the gravesites and maybe do a little landscaping if necessary.


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The next cemetery I visited was the last one that was added to the list of possibilities 3 nights before. It was about 14 minutes to the northwest and just north of the town of Blum, Texas. The above picture is the situation I faced when I got there after traveling on back roads a couple of miles off the nearest 2 lane blacktop. Apparently, it's on private property and there was no indication of that on FindAGrave. I was standing in the bed of my truck when I took that picture. The white chalk road is above that gate in the foreground. The cemetery and gate is in the center of the picture at the end of that path in the grass. It was decision time.

That fence is an iron pipe fence painted white and it surrounds that plot of land. The gate in the foreground was locked. I walked the fence a ways along the road and didn't see any No Trespassing signs. There was no sign with a name and/or number to call for access to the cemetery. There was no house close to the gate and there was no livestock, crops or structures in the field. I decided to travel light and fast and go for it. If you don't know me, I look most of the time like I just visited a Marine barber. I'm 62 but I'm in good shape and kinda dress like a Marine in the field and I say "Yes sir.", "No sir.", "Yes ma'am.", "No ma'am" etc. a lot. All I had with me was a red satchel with grave marker flags and a list of the name of the 2 Confederate veterans buried there. My gravestone cleaning kit was in the bed of my truck. Anyone that rolled up could see it. I felt pretty comfortable about the situation.
 
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