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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 4 years, 8 months, 10 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 (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 ... (1119)[Leave Message]
memories live on
Watson family
Also have pic. of headstones for the following people in the Smithville Cemetery

Simeon b.1-22-1840 d. 7-17-1910 his wife Susan b.1-9-1844 d.7-30-1910

Elmer 1867-1912

Calvin 1855-1883 his wife Delilar 1855-1899 and her second husband Leonard Ulysses 1855-1892 these three on all on very worn stone. If you would like to post them I'll add the photo.
Added by memories live on on Jul 21, 2014 12:32 PM
Dan Ryan
Louise Mendenhall
Link made to her mother
Thank you.
Added by Dan Ryan on Jul 11, 2014 5:32 AM
Dan Ryan
RE: Ann M. Baggs
Hello Baxter,
Sorry about the photo of Ann. I decided to run out to LaSalle at the spurt of the moment & forgot to check if the camera had batteries in it before I left, so I used the camera on my I-Phone to take it & even though the photo on my find a grave app showed her stone standing vertical I didn't check it on my computer which showed it horizontal. After several failed try's on my phone to spin the photo I ran back out to LaSalle & the photo has been replaced.
Hope you're having a good summer,

Dan R.
Added by Dan Ryan on Jul 10, 2014 3:13 PM
Assistance requested, if possible
Hello, I came to your profile initially because I had seen your name mentioned as providing biographical information for a son of Alexander Crane (1809-1875). Are you related to this family? If so, have you encountered documentation that specifically lists the names of Alexander's parents? Also, now that I see you are involved with tracing veterans in Illinois, I was wondering if you could provide advice on discovering the fate of an Illinois soldier during the Black Hawk War. Our ancestor, Cpl. Elza D. Park, is shown as sick and absent on leave 250 miles from place of enrollment, with a notation that his horse was lost or stolen at Rushville, with a followup that the horse was subsequently found by another soldier. No other record of Cpl. Park has been found, so I suspect he died of the cholera before he was able to return home. Any suggestions you might have regarding where to turn for specific documents for this war would be appreciated. I tried the Illinois Archives without success.
Added by EveyBl on Jun 28, 2014 6:27 PM
Kim Haukoos
Albert Snell
Baxter, I am sorry, you are right, Albert is not the son of Henry and Emeline. I am the one who requested them connected, I will contact them, and let them know.
again, Sorry.
Added by Kim Haukoos on Jun 27, 2014 12:02 PM
Dan Ryan
RE: Ephraim Scott, Princeville Township Cemetery
You're most welcome!!!
Went back out to P-Ville to see if I could find a marker for Ephraim Jr. & in the background of Ephraim Sr. cemstone are 3 small white stones either with no writing or they've completely worn off. I can only imagine one of them being his but can't tell for sure.
I also put up new photo's on Ephraim's & William's memorial page. Check them out when you get the time, it's amazing how a little sunlight can alter a photo.
Dan R.
Added by Dan Ryan on Jun 21, 2014 10:55 AM
Ray Gustafson
Willis Ferguson
Very nice write up on Willis Ferguson.
Added by Ray Gustafson on Jun 15, 2014 9:23 PM
Ray Gustafson
RE: Private Willis H. Ferguson, 77th Illinois
It is/ was an honor to find Willis H. Ferguson's headstone I have a very special appreciation for the men and women who served their country in uniform. You confirmed what I had thought. His gravestone should be vertical and standing tall (certainly not buried). I'll call Parkholm to see what can be done to fix that. I'll also contact our local American Legion to tell them of his location so a flag can wave for him on Memorial Day. Family search shows that he was born on 17 October 1842 in Marshalltown, Iowa. He is buried in Section 3, Lot 102, Grave 5. His GPS coordinates are 41.838506, -87.874985. I'll check out the La Grange area historical to see if they have any information on him.
Keep up the good work. It is important and fun.
Ray Gustafson
Added by Ray Gustafson on Jun 15, 2014 8:23 AM
RE: Huldah Mosell
Hi! New photos posted for Lucinda (Rockwell) Allen. Interestingly, both the cemetery index of names and the cemetery database do not show a Lucinda under either Rockwell or Allen.

I have left the picture of the lot where Huldah is buried posted at the Huldah Mosell memorial. I will reverify this location when I am there the next time.

Please let me know if you have any questions in regards to this information. Thanks for keeping me informed of what you have found out. It is very appreciated. Ace
Added by Ace on Jun 12, 2014 4:54 PM
Memories From The Mist
RE: Noah Bohannon
I added a headstone photo for Noah...have a great rest of the week!
Added by Memories From The Mist on Jun 12, 2014 1:09 PM
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