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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 6 years, 5 months, 23 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 Wiley 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. And speaking of Private John Wiley Adams, take a few moments and read about the terrible way his grave and the graves of the other people buried there have been treated.


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!!



Mailing address:
3013 N. Golf Drive
Peoria, Illinois 61604-2341

Telephone # (309) 685-5861
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First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
Co. A, 86th Illinois (107)
Co. B, 86th Illinois (97)
Co. C, 86th Illinois (105)
Co. D, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. E, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. F, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. G, 86th Illinois (101)
Co. H, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. I, 86th Illinois (114)
Co. K, 86th Illinois (112)
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Find A Grave Friends
Messages left for Baxter B. Fite ... (1296)[Leave Message]
Just A Cemetery Shadow
Hi Baxter!

I was doing some research at the local library, and I came across an obituary for a Deane Edwin Allen, 12 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward A Allen, who died in 1918 of a ruptured appendix. According to the obituary, it lists Desdemona Burkhalter Allen as a "sister", and Sgt. James Burkhalter Allen as a "brother"??? Do you have any information to confirm this boys place in the Allen lineage? Edwin A. Allen's obit information on Find A Grave does not list this child, nor does Desdemona's. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Added by Just A Cemetery Shadow on Apr 26, 2016 3:28 PM
James Clark - 118th Infanty
Hi, Baxter. I recently found a Civil War solder's stone at Terre Haute (my cemetery) in Henderson County, IL. I know he's not in the groups that you work on, but any help you can give me to find out more about him would be appreciated. There is a girl buried with him, I assume her to be a daughter, but no wife, so he may have died young. He was released from the Army due to a disability on 19 April, 1863. If you cannot help, I'll understand - thanks!
Added by Shawdau on Apr 22, 2016 6:07 PM
f This 1872 @ StL Calvary
Sorry he is unmarked,

please see the caption for more information.

Added by Kathie on Apr 10, 2016 6:27 PM
64493244 JV Schleigh
Hi Baxter,

I spoke to you several years ago regarding JV Schleigh. I had requested you transfer the memorial to me at that time and you wanted to hold onto it to finish a project.

I would like it to be transferred to me at this time. My Great Grandmother, Myrtle Irene Schleigh Matchett Newman (Dana as I called her) was JV and Mary Ellen's daughter. She was first married to John Matchett, and had a son with him who is my paternal grandfather, another John Matchett. She was widowed very early in their marriage and went onto marry Fred Newman.

Hope you are doing well. Keep up the great work memorializing our American heroes and telling the stories of their lives and service.

Sincerely, Kera Matchett
Added by Kera on Apr 07, 2016 12:51 AM
Memorial# 27997782
i truly want to thank you for the transfer of this memorial and yes I do have info to add to his memorial along with some family links, I just need some time to put it all together, I'm working on that now.
Added by Coleman on Mar 31, 2016 7:32 AM
Dan Ryan
RE: Burials in Blue Ridge Cemetery
Always happy to hear from you, hope all has been good with you. Will put your other requests on shortly.
Have a Happy Easter!!!

Dan R.
Added by Dan Ryan on Mar 26, 2016 5:05 PM
Elizabeth Groom
William V. Wilson d.1933 #132952641
Your memorial for William V. Wilson at Hillside Memorial Park in Redlands, CA is a duplicate to a memorial already established there. (#81227500) I have fulfilled your photo request and posted it to the original memorial. If you have any other edits or corrections to the original memorial, you can submit those through the link on the memorial page.
Added by Elizabeth Groom on Mar 04, 2016 3:24 PM
Craig Englund
RE: Shreffler Home in Glasford, Illinois

I really don't know, since I have never visited Glasford. In fact, I would guess that the last time any member of my family would have been in Glasford would have been in the early 1930s for a family reunion. It might be possible to see if the house is standing through Google Earth, which could even have a deceint image on the street view. I'll see if I can find it, but I'm not sure if I even have an address for the property.

Added by Craig Englund on Feb 21, 2016 1:04 AM
Terri Messer
Hello. I am a family member who shared a picture of Frank Bullington on his gravesite page. I will continue looking to see if I have any of his father as well.

Terri Messer
Lexington, IL
Added by Terri Messer on Feb 21, 2016 12:26 AM
RE: Martha Maria (Zimmerman) Davis
Sorry I thought from your memorial that you had some particular interest. The text said the family was not found in 1860.

She is the mother of at least 2 Illinois Volunteers:
Corporal CHRISTOPHER C. DAVIS, Co. F, 86th Illinois and Private FRANKLIN DAVIS, Co. F, 86th Illinois.
All buried at the David City Cemetery in Butler County, Nebraska.

I hope that clears it up!
Added by Scotty on Feb 14, 2016 2:03 PM
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