Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Kennedy

Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Kennedy

Washington County, New York, USA
Death 29 Dec 1862 (aged 21)
Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, USA
Memorial ID 34376985 · View Source
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Thomas Jefferson Kennedy was born in Washington Co., NY., probably in Argyle, which is where the family lived. He was the eighth child and youngest son of Alexander Kennedy(the younger) and Sarah "Sally" Ann (Tice) Kennedy. The family moved to Illinois ca 1842, settling in Whiteside Co., near Morrison. He was called "Jeff" by the family.
"Jeff" was one of three brothers, living in Mt. Pleasant, near Morrison, Whiteside Co., Illinois, who enlisted in the Civil War from Illinois. He enlisted and was commissioned into Co.G, 13th Illinois Infantry,24 Apr 1862, for three years.
Nine months later he died in battle.

Jeff was killed at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou near Vicksburg, Mississippi, on Dec 29, 1863. He was 19 years old. He was buried where he fell, on the Widow Lake's plantation.

In 1867 after Vicksburg Nat'l Cemetery was established, his body was one of seven exhumed from a pit on the Widow Lake's plantation and re-buried there. When moved, there was a wooden headboard on the grave, containing the names: T.J.KENNEDY, Lafe DeGroot, Thomas Riley, Thomas Comstock. Buried in the grave was a photo inside a piece of pipe. The headboard may have been carved by his older brother, Henry A. Kennedy, who was in the same battle and was wounded but recovered.

In Vicksburg, a gov't. marker was on his grave, with only "T.J.KENNEDY 5403" on it. (Spring 1988) Visiting the cemetery looking for Jeff's grave, we were told that if we could furnish information and proof that this really was "our" Thomas Jefferson Kennedy, the Park Ranger would order new monuments, giving his full name, rank, state & unit, as well as that of three other soldiers from Illinois. We did this in 1994, to their satisfaction, and new government markers were ordered and erected, replacing the originals. The Ranger even sent us photos of the new stones.

A letter in the WHITESIDE SENTINEL, 29 Jan 1863. written by Lieut. Jackson, Co.G, 13th Illinois Inf. from the battlefield:
"We lost some of our best men. I wish to mention particularly, Sargeant Jeff Kennedy. He was one of my warmest friends, and a nobler hearted , braver man never died for his country. He was in the front of the battle, and fell when almost on the enemy's breastworks." A moving tribute.

His cousins who were still living in Whiteside Co. were pleased to learn of the new markers.(That was the most satisfying thing to happen to us in 20 years of doing genealogy!)

  • Maintained by: MHB
  • Originally Created by: NatalieMaynor
  • Added: 3 Mar 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 34376985
  • MHB
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Kennedy (28 Oct 1841–29 Dec 1862), Find a Grave Memorial no. 34376985, citing Vicksburg National Cemetery, Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by MHB (contributor 46895766) .