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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 7 years, 5 months, 16 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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Peoria, Illinois 61604-2341

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First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
Co. A, 86th Illinois (108)
Co. B, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. C, 86th Illinois (105)
Co. D, 86th Illinois (99)
Co. E, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. F, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. Field and Staff, 86th... (26)
Co. G, 86th Illinois (102)
Co. H, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. I, 86th Illinois (115)
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Find A Grave Friends
Messages left for Baxter B. Fite ... (1342)[Leave Message]
Jerry W. Ferguson
Brearley Cemetery - Dardanelle, Yell Co, AR
Baxter - You had requested a photo of a grave marker for someone you thought was buried at Brearley. I now have the Brearley maps and some other paper work. Please send me the info you ask about again and I'll continue to search. Sorry, but I didn't keep the info you originally sent.
Added by Jerry W. Ferguson on Apr 09, 2017 12:17 AM
Vivian Howell
I've transferred this memorial to you along with a few others, hoping it will make things more efficient for everyone. I've encountered your activities on FindaGrave several times in the past, and I am always impressed with your work. I know you will be a good steward of these memorials, but if for some reason you do not wish to maintain them you can always transfer them back to me after you have made the changes you want, or pass them along to someone else you feel is suitable. Also, let me know if there are other memorials I currently maintain for which you need direct access for your projects.

Have fun with them, and good luck in your endeavor.
Added by KQB on Mar 25, 2017 4:44 PM
Hume Family by MSB
Delilah "Jane" F Payne Hodgson/James E Hodgson
Wow, reading all you info on Delilah, James and family has me somewhat confused. Have printed it out to try to sort out.
I think I have info on this Delilah, and was wondering if maybe we can compare info since I have so many questions and so much info by email or phone. I also live in Peoria.
Please email me

Marty Hume-Bailey
Added by Hume Family by MSB on Mar 17, 2017 12:58 PM
Beverly Smith Harker
RE: George B. Nail, Co. K, 86th Illinois
Added by Beverly Smith Harker on Mar 15, 2017 6:46 PM
Beverly Smith Harker
RE: George B. Nail, Co. K, 86th Illinois
Hi Baxter, Sorry, I do not have a photo of my Uncle George R. Nail. I do have a photo of his father dressed in his Civil War uniform. Is that the one you have?
Added by Beverly Smith Harker on Mar 15, 2017 8:52 AM
RE: William Henry Grife, Co. E, 86th Illinois
very welcome - but sorry - I don't know
Added by Jo on Mar 13, 2017 9:08 PM
William Stark
RE: Frederick M. Palmer
I think that you are correct. Since e mailing you I have discovered the Civil War soldiers list on the OHC web site.
Added by William Stark on Mar 06, 2017 7:26 AM
Will Carrick
RE: Leroy Baird
I did add the photos and dumped mine -- thanks. Will
Added by Will Carrick on Feb 27, 2017 9:04 AM
Will Carrick
Leroy Baird
You made a memorial for Leroy saying that you did not know where he was buried. Well, I think he is the Leroy Baird who is in the Pomona Cemetery in Pomona CA. I was asked to photograph his headstone and I did. since there was no memorial in the Pomona cemetery I made one for him (#144208075).

I have a proposal -- since yours has all that history in it, if you would add it to the Pomona Cemetery location, I'd transfer the photos I made of his headstone to your memorial and dump the memorial I made.

Will Carrick
Added by Will Carrick on Feb 26, 2017 6:40 PM
Green Burgess
Sorry it has taken so long for me to answer.
Green Burgess was my GG Uncle. My GG Grandfather was 'Francis 'Frank' Marion Burgess, they were brothers.
I have taken a lot of pictures of the Confederate Cemetery here in San Antonio. I have added them to Find a Grave. I doubt if any of these are who you are looking for, but you never know. On my virtual CSA cemetery are several photos of Civil War tombstones that I found in other cemeteries.
Hope this helps.
Added by Katy on Feb 02, 2017 10:27 AM
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