Billy Begole Post 127 GAR Memorial
This small township cemetery is nearly forgotten, as are those veterans named on the memorial. It takes a while to read the four sides of the monument, and for a few moments it doesn't sink in, but most of these soldiers were from just a handfull of families. That was the essence of the Civil War, a conflict that was fed soldiers from thousands of small towns and settlements across the nation, on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.
We often hear that brother fought against brother, but more often it was brothers and cousins marching off together in a sincere effort to make certain they all returned safely to home. That was not always the case.
The last majn named on the monument was known to be the first pioneer child born in this area. James R Fulton was born in 1847. He was barely a teenager when went to the Civil War. He died April 6, 1929
Essex Center is located about 1.5 miles south of Maple Rapids and is easy to miss. Ask the locals to get your best directions
Not all of these 'boys' were angels. Two newspaper clippings from the Washington, D.C., area in early 1863 shows that their free time away from recruit drills were not put to good use.; Sgt Hammond didn't make it home to Clinton County. He was reported killed in action on 11 October 1863 at Brandy Station, Virginia. His body was brought home for burial here at Sowle Cemetery.
The Evening Star, January 29, 1863 -
Robhbing a Grave Yard
Some scoundrel or scoundrels on Saturday night last entered the Congressional Cemetery and robbed it of two beautiful marble figures-one from the family lot of Jacob Gideon, Esq., being a statue about three feet high, in a standing position, with the hands folded across the breast, representing Meditation; the other from the family lot of George Parker, Esq., being the figure of an infant about twenty inches long, reclining on its right arm and side.
The Alexandria Gazette, March 6, 1863 -
Robbing a Grave Yard
Sergeant Noble S. Hammond and private John K. Howard, of Company G., Fifth Michigan cavalry, have been arrested in Washington, charged with stealing from the Congressional burying ground, two small pieces of statuary belonging to George Parker and Jacob Gideon, esqs., and also a bronze statue representing a ten year old child in a devotional attitude, from the country residence of Clark Mills the sculptor. These articles were boxed up and sent home to the families of the parties, and letters were found acknowledging their receipt and praising the beauty of the statues.