On my latest research trip I stopped by Buffalo Baptist Church Cemetery in Blacksburg, South Carolina. Now I had seen the graves on Find A Grave. And I had looked on Google to see the cemetery.
I could see it was broken into two sets of graves. But it is always so different when you pull up to a cemetery. Each one has its own feeling, its own character.
Next to the road in the first graveyard, I found the older graves. They were starting to turn black and many were unreadable. The ones that caught my eye were the bright white ones. They marked the Confederate graves and I believe they all came from the veterans administration. It was mowed and kept up, but the graves had a forgotten by time feel to them.
The very first grave I saw that caught my eye was Lansford M Hopper.
I actually said out loud, “Well, hello there.” Do any of you talk to your people when you find them?
Lansford was my 3rd great grandfather who survived the Civil War, but was murdered by his nephew when they were working on a road in 1870.
Looking at his grave marker, I realized he had been in the 18th SC Vol Infantry. I have him down as being in the 28th North Carolina Infantry. There is some work to do there.
Most of the white stones that marked Confederate Graves stood in front of the original ones. My 2nd great grandmother, Delila Parthenia Hopper was born in October of 1861. Her father died when she was nine. I can just imagine the family standing in front of the grave. Susan, Lansford’s wife, was left alone with 7 children. She was pregnant with number 8. She had raised them throughout the war without him and now she was his widow.
I continued walking through this section of the cemetery. Maybe 200 stones at most. And all the Confederates for the most part served in the 17th or 18th SC Infantry. I haven’t really researched that bunch yet. But this group lived together, fought together, and eventually died in the same place.
I’ve proposed a new class for NGS 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina titled: Researching the Civil War in the Southern Community. A small community like this is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Hopefully it gets accepted!