A few weeks ago, on my return from the living history in Maryland, we stopped by Lexington and spent a few moments with Stonewall Jackson. We also stumbled over to the Confederate monument in the cemetery, and found the names of several Tar Heels chiseled on it. That got me to thinking - who were these men and how did they wind up so far from the front lines of the War? (Yes, the war visited Lexington in June 1864.)
So, who were these men?
On one side is the name of J. C. McKinney, Co. B, 34th N. C. John C. McKinney was from Cleveland County and was 39 years old when he mustered in as a private in February 1863. Four months later (June 17-19, 1863), he died of typhoid at a hospital in Lexington.
Below McKinney was G H B Huggins, Co.I, 2nd N. C. There are no Hugginses in Company I, but I did find a Henry B. Huggins in Company G. Huggins enlisted in Northampton County on July 18, 1861. He was wounded sometime around July 1, 1861, by the "explosion of a bomb shell at Camp Wyatt." Huggins was detailed as a nurse in Lexington on February 15, 1863, and died there of "typhoid pneumonia" on June 16, 1863.
On another side of the monument were the names W. G. Gilbert and A. T. Gilliam, both listed as having served in the 23rd North Carolina. There was a Willis Gilbert in Company D. His records state he was born in Caldwell County and enlisted at the age of 28 in September 1862. He died at or near Lexington around February 6, 1863, of "chr[onic] gastritis."
A. T. Gilliam is proving a challenge. There are no A. T. Gilliams in Company A, 23rd North Carolina Infantry. I tried looking on Soldiers and Sailors for A. Gilliam, and T. Gilliam, but I could not identify this soldier. I also looked at the compiled service records for the 23rd NC, but I did not really see anything there that matched. It could be that the inscription is totally wrong, or maybe this poor lad died of some disease after he enlisted but before he was mustered into the regiment.
I did a little online searching , but I did not find a whole lot about a war-time hospital. The Stonewall Jackson house was used as a hospital, but it is unclear if this happened during the war. Maybe someone has that answer as well.
I wonder how many other Tar Heels are tucked away in places, seemingly forgotten.