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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 7 years, 3 months, 12 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 (108)
Co. B, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. C, 86th Illinois (104)
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 (101)
Co. H, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. I, 86th Illinois (114)
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Find A Grave Friends
Messages left for Baxter B. Fite ... (1333)[Leave Message]
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
cl bray
regarding Pvt. Samuel C. Arie, Co F, 86th Ill.
I'm Carl Bray and Samuel is my Great great Uncle, his parents are Joseph Arie and Nancy Humphreys. If you haven't found his grave yet, I may have some theories as to where he may be buried. I was so excited to read your narratives about Samuel and his brothers and family. I've really just started researching my family, and this was a real kick to find. Give me a holler if you want to kick around some theories on Samuel. Tried calling on the phone listed, left message but guess it didn't go thru.
Added by cl bray on Jan 27, 2017 1:31 AM
Sorry, I should have said we rented from his daughter Elsie Hartsook.
Added by cj on Jan 18, 2017 4:50 PM
Corp Augustus Dickson 18501688
Just finished reading the bio you have entered on Corp Dickson's memorial. Quite interesting to me as my mother and I rented from her for a short time. Wish I had taken the time to get to know her better. My loss. I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading it and to say thank you for all of the work you do.
Added by cj on Jan 18, 2017 4:48 PM
RE: 85th Illinois
Hi Baxter...Oh My Gosh. It brought tears to my eyes to know these letters survived. I would certainly like to see them. I will contact the Mason County Historical Society, perhaps Mr Lord would submit copies to them. They would be a real tribute to the county and soldiers. Yes, we must get together when the weather breaks, Mom will be tickled. Thanks for passing this along to me!
Added by Debra on Jan 12, 2017 4:12 PM
Tom and Nancy Gawthrop
Info on Pvt. Albert Smith #5696096.
It is good to hear from you again. Regarding Albert Smith's wife, she was Charlotta A Hill, daughter of William J Hill and Margaret J (Morgan) Hill. (At least Margaret Morgan was the name suggested by another family contributor on Ancestry.) I found an 1850 census on the family, and they were located at Twp. 12N, 4W, Henderson County, IL. This would place Charlotta's birth place at close to Oquawka. She was the first born of several children, and her mother was 17 when Charlotta was born (30 Sep 1849).

Charlotta died in 1887 at Maquon, Knox Co, IL, as did her husband in 1913. They had been married 20 years when she died. I do not have a correct death date on Pvt. Smith, and could find no obits for him.

Let me know if you need more research on anyone here in Galesburg. Nancy
Added by Tom and Nancy Gawthrop on Oct 10, 2016 9:27 AM
Brian Merrell
RE: James White and Sarah
Hi Baxter.Nice to see you do reenactment! I do American Rev. down here in So. Ca. and belong to The sons' of the American Revolution.
I am just starting to to do research on my Dads Mom side and came across your research and message Bored of the White family.

!st like to say thank you for your research!
James E White was my great great. Grandfather.
Donald Louis Merrell is my Dad, Estel Margaret ( White ) is my Grandmother, Martin Eugene White is my great Grandfather and James E. White is my great great Grand father.
I am sorry to say that you know more about this man than I.
When Estel White sister (Wilma White) past away I had a chance to get her bible but at the time I was a young fool and past it up.My 2nd cousins I am hoping will have more info but I can't locate them or know how to go about it, do you?
The White family is a very private clan.
This I do Know James son Martin was kicked out of the house by his son Lloyd white about 1925. and he died in Los Angeles 1960.
The picture of James and Sarah is when they were old but a very nice pic. I am 90% it is them. My grandma scrap book is whare I found it.I don't even have a pic. of Martin.I want so bad to get ahold of my cousins.
Im not sure how to transfer the pic to you.

Will be waiting for your reply. Brian Merrell

Added by Brian Merrell on Sep 28, 2016 11:04 AM
Ronny Bodine
Walter J. Berdine
Hello Walter. I came across the details you had composed on Walter J. Berdine who died in 1890 in St. Louis. I can supply some additional details concerning his wife, as you were uncertain as to what became of her. She was Alice M. Owens, born 27 Oct 1850 in Louisville, KY. After Walter's death she married Captain John Wilson Collins who died in 1913. She lived out her life in St. Louis and died there 21 April 1939. She was cremated at Valhalla Crematory and Cemetery in St. Louis according to her Missouri Death Certificate.
Ronny Bodine
Added by Ronny Bodine on Sep 17, 2016 11:26 AM
Re the George Brewer of Missouri or Illinois. He is a bit distant of my line & was using info data provided by the Missouri line. Since I could not confirm his direct line to Missouri line, I deleted the connection. It looks as if your info is more correct.
Added by Jude on Aug 22, 2016 5:30 PM
Tom Holley
Granville V. Holley
Granville is my 3rd great uncle. Thank you so much for your work. Can you tell me more of the Moffatts Cemetery in Peoria. Illinois ? Was there a marker for Granville? Granvill was one of three brothers who fought in the Civil War from Cass County, Indiana.

Granville V. Holly Side Union Regiment State/Origin Indiana Regiment 157th Regiment, Indiana Infantry Company C Rank In Private Rank Out Private Film Number M540 roll 35

The real name is Holley
Added by Tom Holley on Aug 16, 2016 2:40 PM
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