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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 4 years, 5 months, 13 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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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 (103)
Co. H, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. I, 86th Illinois (116)
Co. K, 86th Illinois (111)
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Find A Grave Friends
Messages left for Baxter B. Fite ... (1086)[Leave Message]
Richard Purkey
RE: Alfred Aten
I have been to the cemetery but was unable to find any records pertaining to Grover and Mable. Your best hope of finding them would probably be in the Lansing area.

Added by Richard Purkey on Apr 23, 2014 8:37 AM
RE: Burkhalter's again.....but now confused!!
Thanks again Baxter..... if I switch the photos then the sections will be wrong as well as the notes that the memorial owner has noted on each one. I sent the memorial owner a SAC (suggest a correction) to change the dates or sections. I am going to remove the photos for now and if they get fixed then I will add the photos back to the memorials. If they don't get fixed then you probably will want to request new photos.

I do this as a volunteer; I drive my car to these places for my own pleasure and enjoyment but I cannot post wrong information. Hope you understand.
Added by FutureAncestor on Apr 22, 2014 6:14 AM
RE: Burkhalter's again.....but now confused!!
I sent a message to the memorial owner..... If you look at each memorial he has the section and plots noted. Those sections are clearly marked at the cemetery and the photos I took do not match the dates on the memorials. I think they just got mixed up when they were recorded.
Added by FutureAncestor on Apr 21, 2014 7:53 PM
Burkhalter's again.....but now confused!!
Hi, sorry about having to write you twice but now I am getting confused at all these David Burkhalters. I found Savina and "David" in section 7 inside a tree. I also found Mary and "David" in section 3 (as well as those others I told you about in the previous message).

The memorial for the David with Mary in section 3 has the date of birth and death as what should be for the David with Savina in section 7. If you click on the Mary and David Burkhalter, you will see I posted 2 headstones that are side by side. The one next to Mary is David but look at his dates on the headstone versus what is written in his memorial. They don't match.

I think the person that entered the information for their memorials got confused or maybe even the cemetery records are mixed up. Either way, they will need looked into and changed.

So sorry for all the confusion.
Added by FutureAncestor on Apr 21, 2014 1:19 PM
Burkhalter's @ Saegertown Cem
Hi, yesterday I found 3 of the 5 you had requests for. Savina and husband David are inside a very large flowering bush that was nearly impossible to get a good picture of. I will post them anyway so you get a better understanding of what condition they are in. If you are direct family members, you may want to call the cemetery association and see if they can cut back that bush. I would be happy to go back to take better photos if they can do that.

There were 2 other David Burkhalter's that I was not able to locate. I did locate some others and will post photos for them. All the stones are in poor condition and barely readable. They are Marion, Charles, Wayne and Henry.
Added by FutureAncestor on Apr 21, 2014 12:59 PM
Richard Purkey
Alfred Aten
Check Alfred's Find A Grave site. I have posted a photo of his wife on his page since a headstone for Alfred was not located. Sorry.
Added by Richard Purkey on Apr 20, 2014 7:48 AM
Rich Keith
RE: Sheppard & Boagardus families in Deer Creek
No problem. I enjoy the hunt, and the history that you provide makes it much more interesting. Thanks for what you do. Rich
Added by Rich Keith on Apr 12, 2014 8:48 PM
RE: G..A. R.
Hi Baxter, You are right, I made that clear as mud. I should have made the distinction between the post and hall. Thanks for correcting my slip!

I was reading Walter Gardner Barker's obit, and his personal mausoleum was actually ordered to be built by Greenhut for his burial. When Greenhut decided to leave Peoria, he sold it to Barker.
Just more useless trivia!
Added by Debra on Apr 12, 2014 2:41 PM
G..A. R.
No disrespect meant for Col. Greenhut!
Added by Debra on Apr 12, 2014 2:37 AM
Hi Baxter, thanks for touching base with me!
I was photographing Prospect Hill today. Just by coincidence I took the photos of Mary and John Johnston. I was surprised when the photo request fulfillment page popped up!
They are buried by her grandparents John and Mary Borland. I made entries for them and added some info to their memorials, I will spruce them up with more soon.

Also, Please check the memorial for Antoinette Curtenius in Springdale. memorial # 124607005. I stumbled on some interesting info about street names on the south end.

Just one mre thing! I mentioned Mom and I read the History of the 47th. Mom has also read the 2nd book Byron Bryner wrote about Lincoln in Peoria. I haven't gotten to it yet. Forgive me if you already know this, you being so familiar with Bryner G.A.R.Hall and our Peoria Civil War history!

In the Lincoln book, Byron writes that his little brother Willie was shot and murdered. He recants the shocking story about that. He then writes that the Bryner G.A.R. Hall was personal to the family for 2 reasons. First, the obvious, it was named for his father. The second, it was built on the site where Willie was murdered so many years before!

Thanks or all you do for so many!

Added by Debra on Apr 12, 2014 2:16 AM
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