Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 5 years, 2 months, 15 days
[Add to MyFriends]
Bio and Links
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!!



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

Telephone # (309) 685-5861
Leave Public Message
Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 1,455 Memorials Added
 • 2,018 Memorials Managed
 • 5 Memorials/Week
 • 637 Photos
 • 268 Photo Requests
 • 22 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 2 Virtual Flowers
 • 149 Virtual Cemeteries
 • 17 Sponsorships
 • 1 Friend
Search Contributor's Records

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 (98)
Co. G, 86th Illinois (102)
Co. H, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. I, 86th Illinois (115)
Co. K, 86th Illinois (111)
[View all Virtual Cemeteries...]
Find A Grave Friends
Messages left for Baxter B. Fite ... (1194)[Leave Message]
Dan Ryan
RE: Smith & Coburn Monuments in Princeville Cemetery
Always thrilled to add a photo to one of your photo requests as well.
It says Morris & Walter are both buried with Elijah but there was only 1 stone there with their names on it but with no dates. Let me know if you want the photo of the family stone added to their memorial page.

Thanks for all the time you put in on find a grave,

Dan R.
Added by Dan Ryan on Jan 25, 2015 12:15 PM
Dewey Pembleton in Mt. Moriah
Since you didn't have a death date for Dewey, I went to Mo. Digital Heritage and looked up his death certificate. It indicates his dod. as 21 Nov 1959, not 1955 as you had indicated. Also it says he was to be buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Kansas City, MO by George Carson and Sons Funeral Home of Independence. I have not checked with the office at Mt. Moriah, but I think he is probably at Memorial Park. I will check Mt. Moriah.
Added by Deb on Jan 24, 2015 8:03 PM
Also, Larry is still around and on facebook:
He'd probably know more.
Added by Galen on Jan 24, 2015 1:57 PM
"Also, is it possible you could put me in contact with any other descendants of the Heckathorn family in your area?"


Kim (Whitehead) Reiber is a relative of Edward Heckathorn. More precisely, Edward is her 2nd Great Uncle. Her dad is Larry Whitehead. His mother is Bethel (Heckathorn) Whitehead. Bethel's father is Charles Heckathorn. Charles' brother is Edward Heckathorn.

Kim may not know much about her family that far back, but she might know someone who does. She lives in Beatrice with her spouse Michael Reiber, both of Beatrice. Her facebook page is under Kj Reiber:

I don't know her, but just looked around on the net.
Added by Galen on Jan 24, 2015 1:23 PM
My deceased husband is a descendent of John Atkinson Freemole.
A. Freemole
Added by afreemole on Jan 13, 2015 2:22 PM
Lou (Davis) Dedinsky
Madge Auten Snuggs
I'm afraid Madge was married to a 1st cousin of mine and I only have photos of the two of them. Sorry :(

Added by Lou (Davis) Dedinsky on Jan 12, 2015 12:35 PM
Roger and Jane Cook
Yes, that all looks OK, thanks for doing the links.

Added by Vonderene on Jan 11, 2015 7:00 AM
Debra Ena Gilbertson Kable
RE: Photos of George and William Auten, of Co. K, 86th Illinois
Sorry Baxter, those are the extent of my photos. I am not aware of others who may have photos of his brother. If I find anything, I'll let you know. Good luck.
Added by Debra Ena Gilbertson Kabl... on Jan 10, 2015 12:03 PM
Ovando Auten
I am unrelated to Me. Auten and serve as a volunteer! I will assign to you since you are doing research on him. That way you can develop the memorial as you wish. Best of luck to you in 2015!

Larry :-)
Added by Larry on Jan 10, 2015 8:23 AM
Jane Dabb Cook
regarding my previous message I should have also said that I have linked Jane with her parents, if you could check this out too I would appreciate it.

Added by Vonderene on Jan 08, 2015 4:39 AM
[View all messages...]

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service