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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 5 years, 6 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 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!!



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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 ... (1261)[Leave Message]
RE: Corporal Thomas H. Taylor, 86th Illinois
Hello Mr. Fite, You are very welcome. I do try to do any military memorials that I run across as we have to remember them...not matter what side. They all just did their "duty" even if they may have disagreed with the war they were in. I was surprised that he didn't have a civil war marker....but maybe he didn't want one. We'll never know.

Here is a website that may be helpful to find others. Take care.
Added by klassikat on May 31, 2015 9:08 PM
RE: Corporal Thomas H. Taylor, 86th Illinois
Begin with the Northwest Room at the Tacoma Public Library:

Secondly, check the research done by Washing ton Digital Archives:

And then the Washington History Museum:

Let me know if you find anything or if I can perhaps lead you to yet another location.
Added by Alice on May 31, 2015 5:32 PM
RE: Corporal Thomas H. Taylor, 86th Illinois
I also wanted to thank you for adding such a thorough bio for this soldier.
Blessings to you,
Added by Alice on May 31, 2015 4:19 PM
RE: Corporal Thomas H. Taylor, 86th Illinois
You are so welcome. Your letters are lovely. The person that really deserves the thanks - other than you - is the lady that found and photographed the stones. Old Tacoma Cemetery, by west coast standards, is old, and so many of the headstones have deteriorated to such an extent they can't be read. If you wouldn't mind, and have the time, please send a small note to the photographer. She is a friend of mine and does such wonderful work.
Best regards on your mission. I agree that it is so important to cherish these soldiers for future generations.
Added by Alice on May 31, 2015 9:26 AM
Phyllis Stackhouse
RE: Sergeant Lemuel R. Elliott, Co. D, 86th Illinois
I'm sorry, but I don't know that we are. The Elliott's are my husband's side of the family. I have not researched any of his genealogy other than taking photos of close relatives. I'm sorry I couldn't help you and actually am not sure if any in our family might know.
Added by Phyllis Stackhouse on May 27, 2015 7:53 AM
david thomas
Sumner Darnell Co. F
His bio. can be found at, Seward County, Nebraska, 1899, pages 902, 903.
Added by david thomas on May 26, 2015 4:33 PM
david thomas
Mahlon Hunt, Co. B
Sorry Baxter, I should have read the bio. on Benjamin Andrews a little closer before contacting you. Mahlon was a brother of Benjamin's wife, Ruth Ann Hunt. But, you may find something of interest in it anyway.
Added by david thomas on May 25, 2015 5:36 PM
david thomas
Mahlon Andrews 86th Il.?
Here's one I can't figure out. Maybe you can. See page 591 in Ford County. Under Benjamin C. Andrews bio., it lists one of his sons, Mahlon Andrews, being in Company B, 86th Illinois Infantry and died from gunshot wounds, no mention of when or where. I cannot find Mahlon in any of my sources and he is not listed in the Soldier's and Sailor's Database or the Illinois Civil War Muster Rolls. If you find information of him, please let me know where. Thanks.
Added by david thomas on May 25, 2015 5:15 PM
david thomas
Sebastian Minch Co. G
His family, bio. can be found at, Ford County, Il., 1892, pages 633, 634.
Added by david thomas on May 25, 2015 4:48 PM
david thomas
Aaron C. Bullington Co. A
His bio. can be found at, Portrait and Biographical Album for Ford County, Illinois, 1892, pages 772, 777.
Added by david thomas on May 25, 2015 4:35 PM
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