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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 4 years, 9 months, 18 days
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Bio Photo April 2010. I am a soon to be 56 year old genealogist and historian that especially loves tracking down the Civil War Veterans who came from Central Illinois. My primary interest, since 1985, has been to find the last resting place of the 992 men who served in the 86th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. I have traveled extensively to photograph the tombstones of veterans of the 86th, but, I have always been aware that I was never going to get pictures of all of their tombstones. But. then someone told me about Find A Grave. In the five months that I have been a member of Find A Grave, Thanks to the many wonderful people who use Find A Grave, I have seen pictures of tombstones of veterans of the 86th that I never dreamed that I would ever see pictures of. I can't begin to tell you how Thankful I am for all of the wonderful people that have helped me see pictures of those monuments to veterans who gave so much to preserve our union. I will forever be indebted to all of you. Thanks for all you have done!!
I am also trying to consolidate the Find A Graves sites for all of the 86th into Virtual Cemeteries. If you go to my Virtual Cemeteries you will find a number of ways that you can search for the veterans of the 86th. I hope all with an interest will learn more about the 86th and the men who served in her in this way.

P.S. As of December of 2013, I have found the final burial site of all by 89 members of the 86th. I could use any and all help in finding out about these last 89 men.

September 2011. Through the years, there has been a poem which explains why I have been doing what I have been doing. It is one of my favorite poems and I have read it countless times at Memorial Day service and Veteran's Day services. It is now our job to not let people forget "our Boys in Blue."

"When the Boys in Blue Are Gone" by John Hendricks

When the comrades have departed,
When the veterans are no more,
When the bugle call is sounded
On that everlasting shore.
When life's weary march is ended,
When campfires slumber long;
Who will tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone?

Who will tell about their marching,
From Atlanta to the Sea?
Who will halt, and wait, and listen,
When they hear the reveille?
Who will join to swell the chorus,
Of some old, Grand Army song?
Who will tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone?

Sons and daughters of this nation,
You must tell of triumphs won;
When on earth our work is ended,
And the Veteran claims his own.
You must all cherish Old Glory,
And its teachings pass along.
You must tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone.

To that flag, our country's emblem,
You must pledge allegiance, too.
To that flag, our nation's emblem,
May your hearts be ever true.
That the nation be protected,
'Gainst injustice, and all wrong;
You must tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone.

You must keep your country's honor,
From each stripe withhold all stain;
You must take the Veteran's places,
And repeat the roll of fame.
You must keep your country's honor,
And your flag above all wrong,
Then we'll trust you with the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone.

John Hendricks was the last living Veteran of the 89th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The poem expresses his concern that the Union Soldiers,
the "Boys in Blue", not be forgotten by future generations. And since 1985, I have been trying tel tell their story and will continue to tell their story until the day I die.

I have walked through hundreds of cemeteries in my first 57 years and hope the Lord allows me to walk though a few more. It saddens me to think that most of these people have been forgotten about by too many of us. Ben Franklin once said, "One can tell the morals of a culture by the way they treat their dead." I have walked through many a cemetery over the years where it truthfully doesn't look like we remember or care for our dead at all. The Old Methodist Church Cemetery in Eureka, where Private John Adams, of Co. A, is buried, and the plowed over cemeteries or overgrown cemeteries that I have seen and walked through are examples of this.


Wandering among the stones I see
The stones so weathered and worn
‘Tis difficult to find the date
On which the babe was born

I stare at the stone and am struck with awe
At the life that I knew was gone
This was someone's child, a babe so sweet
With loved ones to carry on

So I take a photo for all to see
For the family that remains
An everlasting memory of
A child of God's domain

I brush the weeds back from the stone
And say a silent prayer
For the babes that had no chance to live
And for mothers everywhere

The dove calls out it's mourning song
Among the stones so still
Echoes of the woes, through time
The choirs of despair

The stone will someday perish
The flowers will be gone
But a photo now remains of this
Their memory lives on!

And so my friend, don't hesitate
To film the weathered stone
Those who live within your hearts
Are never truly gone.

Author Unknown

I just want to Thank the creators of Find A Grave for creating this site. It has been a wonderful place for me to leave some of the information that I have accumulated over the past 26 years about the 86th "Boys in Blue." I also again want to Thank all of the photographer volunteers who have taken their time to search out and to photograph so many tombstones of 86th veterans, that I KNEW, that I was NEVER going to see in person and that I was NEVER EVER even going to see a picture of. Thanks for getting those pictures for me and for all who have an interest in them in the future. It is GREATLY APPRECIATED!!



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First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
Co. A, 86th Illinois (107)
Co. B, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. C, 86th Illinois (106)
Co. D, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. E, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. F, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. G, 86th Illinois (102)
Co. H, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. I, 86th Illinois (115)
Co. K, 86th Illinois (111)
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Find A Grave Friends
Messages left for Baxter B. Fite ... (1143)[Leave Message]
Melissa O'Brian
RE: Tree invites
Send me your e-mail.
Maybe what I'm using isn't correct.

Can't pull the photo, you have to go back to where I got it through my tree.

Added by Melissa O'Brian on Aug 29, 2014 1:42 PM
Melissa O'Brian
Tree invites
Just did 2 more. Let me know if/when yu make it!

Added by Melissa O'Brian on Aug 27, 2014 5:26 PM
Melissa O'Brian
I've sent you an invite to the tree where the photo is.

I do not know the process for adding photos.
I had a fella who put mine on with me.

If it suits you, add it to senior Sharpnack.
It is civil dress, prob. before he left for the war.

The Sharpnack/neck is a family name fr way back, & connects to many Ten mile family lines through marriages.

It is a custom to add surnames to children as the other surnames are added to the families. It still represents the Major. Can be Thomas; can be Thomas Hughes; can be Hughes. They are all for the Major.

They are in the Leckey book.

Added by Melissa O'Brian on Aug 24, 2014 2:25 PM
Melissa O'Brian
Baxter, just tried to get to him & Find A Grave is saying he isn't there, even though I have it saved as there with them for liking.

Prob. he is under Wm Hugh Sharpneck,

it is: Wm Hughes Sharpnack for his family line.

He is named for my 4th gg grandpa Major Thomas Hughes of Carmichaels, Cumberland, Greene co., Pa

Find A Grave # 3201067 to get his site.

The memorial is shown now too.

Wow! You are so great with your virtual cemeteries. I began them in the last year too. But you, fantastic.
Wm is a Greene Co., PA birth place.

Thanks so much for your exhaustive work.

Added by Melissa O'Brian on Aug 24, 2014 10:05 AM
Melissa O'Brian
RE: Re FAG 3201067
Okay, here goes:

Pvt William Hughes Sharpnack sr, Greene co., PA (1839-1862)

Parents: Thomas & Lucinda RICE Sharpnack, of same.

Mar Elizabeth Ann CURL; son is a Wm Hughes Sharpnack jr.

Cem. Nashville National, Nashville, TN

Hope that helps...

Added by Melissa O'Brian on Aug 24, 2014 9:45 AM
Dana Garrow
Inez & Martin Canup
Hi Baxter! Was out at St. Paul's in Rowan Cty, NC.. was able to find Martin Canup without a problem… he's buried with his parents and a few other siblings in the same row. I didn't find a marker for his wife.. or find any Bollinger's there either. I didn't place a note on the request… you never know I may have missed her grave! Just wanted you to know. I photographed all the Canup's I saw and loaded any photos that were missing. Take care… Dana
Added by Dana Garrow on Aug 19, 2014 6:27 PM
Melissa O'Brian
Re FAG 3201067
Hey Baxter,

You were looking for a photo of my ancestor.
One came up on an tree, I brought it to my tree:
Hughes Families: Inver, Donegal,Ulster, Ireland to Iowa Tree

You can get it there, for it is public.

Melissa (aka Jeanne Curl on for research)

If you aren't confused by now, you never will be!

Added by Melissa O'Brian on Aug 19, 2014 5:39 PM
Elias Thomas Bassett
Could you by any chance combine your memorial for this soldier with the other one in the Wyuka Cemetery in Nebraska City, Otoe County, NE that was put on sooner? They are the same person.
Thanks much!
Added by Lois on Aug 19, 2014 10:56 AM
Pvt George Washington Truitt
Hi Baxter!

Please do check your personal email as I sent you lots of additional family documentation to support The Family of Thomas and Catherine McCarty Truitt (later Clifton...including docs on supporting that latter marriage). THANK YOU for writing saying how much all of my family's detailed, chronicled 50 plus years of Genealogy Research on our DIRECT LINE has meant to you, and that you will give credit as due! I greatly appreciate that as so often years of such devotion are taken, copied and simply not sourced and that's hurtful to the many years and countless hours given totally as a labor of love to honor our families. Bless you!

I greatly admire and appreciate your dedication and devotion to this work we share to honor.

Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for updating this memorial, reviewing the facts, loads of docs I've sent and getting it right on!

Most sincerely your friend,

Added by Truitt on Aug 18, 2014 2:13 PM
Wm & SJ. Donath
Solomon Woland

I know the feeling about the forgotten dead.

The CW Monument here was destroyed by a storm in 2008 after standing 149 years. A group of us were able to replace it with a nice bronze statue of a CW soldier. We took the opportunity to add signage listing the CW Dead and a name board in the courthouse listing all known men who served from Logan County.

I personally wrote two books on the period. Logan County, IL During the CW and Logan County's Civil War Dead.

The story needs to be told and retold.
Added by Wm & SJ. Donath on Aug 13, 2014 8:52 PM
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