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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 4 years, 11 months, 21 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 (97)
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 ... (1159)[Leave Message]
Michael Curry
RE: Jacob Sarver, Co C, 86th Illinois
You are welcome for everything.
Added by Michael Curry on Oct 31, 2014 6:49 AM
Samuel Dunawain, Co. B, 85th Illinois
Thanks Baxter, Wow, nothing short of a miracle. Thanks for sharing this fascinating story. All is well, Mom and I just read "Killer Angels" about the Battle of Gettysburg. Mom would like nothing better than to be able to give Robert E. Lee a piece of her mind!
Thanks again!
Added by Debra on Oct 27, 2014 1:16 PM
MidwestMom ♥
Swendeman marriage

This record found in Livingston County marriages. Thought maybe you would like to add it. Pam
Added by MidwestMom ♥ on Oct 20, 2014 11:42 PM
MidwestMom ♥
RE: William Swanderman, Co. H, 77th Illinois
Hi, I got your message. Thanks for the kind words!

I do live a few blocks from where William rests. I'm going back to get a better picture as soon as I can. I'll keep my eyes open for an obit, and check some sources around here.

I enjoy history, just never enough time to do all I want to do! Thanks again! Pam
Added by MidwestMom ♥ on Oct 19, 2014 5:26 PM
Civil War vet
Hi Baxter,
I found you as a reference on One Foot in the Grave page for memorial #40029406 George James Wilkinson. I believe he was Capt Co B 103rd Illinois rather than what is on the memorial. Also, according to records he died Sept 23 rather than Sept 28. Thanks for any help.
Added by Janet on Oct 17, 2014 8:20 PM
Alton & Loudonia
William Parker

Just wanted to add that after looking at my photos, William H. and wife are buried next to Dr. W. P. Parker and Emma is on the other side.
Added by Alton & Loudonia on Oct 15, 2014 8:10 AM
Alton & Loudonia
W. Parker
Have transfered to you to maintained. I know no more than you, about him. I lived in a comunity next to Parker Florida, growing up. Had heard of the Parkers, along with the Martin Family. Well known families. The reason we list is a hobby so others may find. It makes our day when we get an email saying we have done what we set out to do.
Added by Alton & Loudonia on Oct 14, 2014 7:26 AM
Angelic Long Wilmouth
RE: James L. Burkhalter, Co. F, 86th Illinois
Hi Baxter! Great hearing from you :) I am so glad Capt. Burkhalter was found! The City of Galesburg does a horrible job with their record keeping on their cemeteries. I hope this finds you & yours doing well.
Take care :)
Added by Angelic Long Wilmouth on Oct 11, 2014 7:42 AM
Cecily Bishop
RE: Private William Mills Organ, Co. E, 86th Illinois
Baxter, unfortunately I live in Wisconsin and was visiting Wheatland for research on my family. I doubt I'll be returning.

I read every marker and didn't find any for Organ. There were several that were illegible (including 2 for my ancestors)and at least one where it appeared that a stone had once sat. There were some broken pieces in a corner of the cemetery which I did not investigate (it was very cold and windy the day I was there).


Added by Cecily Bishop on Oct 07, 2014 1:08 PM
RE: Richard and Terreca Scanlon
Hi Baxter,

I have run into road blocks for both of my G-G-Grandmothers husbands. Flemming may have been in the soldier and sailors home in Quincy, Il for a time. No record of his burial was found there though. He did live into the 1900's. I know his great-grand-daughter and she has told me this, but she never knew him or what happened to him. His daughter didn't want anything to do with him, because of his drinking.
Welch died around 1895. He mustered out as Sergeant in Selma,AL in 1866. When he married my G-G-Grandmother he was a constable for the Peoria, Il Police ( in 1880). By this time they had both been married 2 times each. He may be with one of his other families. I am working on this angle.

In any of your research have you found a John Scanlon (Scantlin or possibly Scanlan) who may have been in the Civil War from the Peoria area and may have died or killed in 1864/65? This is someone I cannot find.
Added by J S on Sep 24, 2014 7:55 PM
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