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Maj Robert Edward Chew
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Birth: Jan. 19, 1829
Adams County
Mississippi, USA
Death: Dec. 7, 1862
Prairie Grove
Washington County
Arkansas, USA

February 2, 1863
Memphis Daily Appeal

Major Robert E. Chew was born in January, 1829 in Adams county, Miss. He was the youngest son of Wm. L. Chew, one of the oldest settlers of the State. Major Chew removed to Memphis several years since, where he practiced law until the commencement of the war. He was among the first to take the field, and as the captain of a company, both at Belmont and Shiloh, proved himself a gallant soldier and true patriot. Upon the reorganization of the army the fortunes of war cast him in the trans-Mississippi district, under Gen. Hindman, where he was immediately placed at the head of the sharpshooters in Hindman's army, with the rank of major. It was while charging at the head of his battalion, at the battle of "Prairie Grove," that he was shot through the heart - thus dying the noble death of the patriot soldier.

The writer of this notice cannot refrain from a passing tribute to the many noble and manly qualities of his deceased friend. His was indeed a character worthy of admiration - brave, generous, high-soulded; modest as a woman in pressing his own advancement, and in the expression of his private sentiments and opinions, but bold and earnest in advocating the entrusts of all his friends. He was a model of excellence among all the young men in his own profession, and unrivaled in all the qualities of the true gentleman. I thought that in social life his virtues shone most conspicuous - there the gentler affections and sympathies of his nature had full and ample play - there he seemed to be more at home even than among the crowd. If but a few know him, those few always respected and cherished him. In the language of one os his oldest and warmest friends, as addressed to the writer: "Few obituary notices could have a better claim upon the generous sympathies of the public, than the one which records the death and merits of this estimable gentleman. In personal qualities he was everything that his friends could desire. He mingled the most unflinching courage with extraordinary mildness and affectionateness of disposition In private intercourse he was distinguished for self-denial and urbanity. His family and friends not only respected but loved him."

Thus has gone one more gallant should to swell the throng of the patriot dead. There in a a far off grave, with the wild grass waving in quiet murmur over the soldier's last resting place, sleeps Chew, the young, the noble, the generous! No monument now marks the silent spot, but soon the hand of affection will trace it out, and all that is earthly will find a fitter burial ground. It is for a grateful country to perpetuate the memory of his many virtues and noble deeds.

[signed] F.

Additional interpretive note on burial location from researcher Clifford Mullis:

The aftermath of civil war battles was very chaotic. The soldiers who cleaned up afterwards (if at all) may not have been interested in identifying bodies. Some bodies were not discovered until nothing but bones remained. (This was especially true at the battle of the Wilderness.) After both Prairie Grove and Franklin, the field was left in the hands of the Union, and it is a wonder that records of CSA bodies were made at all. Recall the poignant paragraph about the Confederate cemetery at Fayetteville: "Their graves originally dotted the landscape of Northwest Arkansas, but in 1878 the Southern Memorial Association of Washington County established the beautiful cemetery and exhumed fallen soldiers from throughout the region and brought them here for final burial. "

Either Robert E Chew was buried in a hasty graveyard near where he died by Union troops, or his family somehow claimed the body. But the latter is very unlikely, since the Confederate army had departed. Robert's friend the obituary writer said "There in a a far off grave, with the wild grass waving in quiet murmur over the soldier's last resting place, sleeps Chew." This was written two months later. If the family had recovered the body the text would have been different. So the body of R E Chew was almost surely buried with many of the soldiers in his command in a hasty graveyard reserved for CSA soldiers, and the location of this grave would have been known to all who lived nearby. If this was the case the body would have ended up in the Confederate cemetery.

NOTE: See also Maryland Genealogies - A Consolidation of Articles from the Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. I, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1 980, 1997, pg. 254-272

Family links: 
  William Lock Chew (1778 - 1858)
  Rebecca Freeland Chew (1785 - 1840)
  Augustin Chew*
  Frisby Freeland Chew (1808 - 1849)*
  William Lock Chew (1810 - 1844)*
  Thomas Reynolds Chew (1826 - 1891)*
  Robert Edward Chew (1829 - 1862)
*Calculated relationship
Confederate Cemetery
Washington County
Arkansas, USA
Maintained by: Sue Patterson Miller Smi...
Originally Created by: Clifford Mullis
Record added: Oct 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79503406
Maj Robert Edward Chew
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Greg Moore
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- bob tarte
 Added: Jan. 17, 2014

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