Thursday, January 18, 2018

Burial of Civil War Soldiers in Smithland, Kentucky

I  have been asked several times about the burial of soldiers at Smithland, Kentucky during the Civil War. If they died in Smithland, where were they buried.  I came across a newspaper item that addresses the burial question.  The article appeared in the Connecticut Courant,  [1] Vol. CI, 21 May 1864, p. 2.

"Died, at the Mitchell House, Smithland, Ky., on Sunday evening, May 8, of typhoid fever, Horace Talcott, of Glastenbury, Conn., AE 26.[2]

"This patriotic young man was a paymaster of the U.S. gunboat Brilliant, and had been in the service nearly two years ...

"The body was encased in a metallic coffin, and deposited, under the direction of the Provost Marshal of Smithland, in a beautiful cemetery, overlooking the waters of the Ohio and Cumberland rivers ... from which position it will very soon be transported to find its resting place among the graves near the homes of his kindred in Glastenbury."

So, that tells us the deceased soldiers were buried in Smithland and some, if not all, of the remains were later disinterred and reburied in their home area.  It is very possible that the "beautiful cemetery, overlooking the waters of the Ohio and Cumberland rivers" referred to Smithland Cemetery.

The gunboat Brilliant "was a steamer purchased by the Union Navy during the ... Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy as a gunboat assigned to patrol  Confederate waterways."[3]

No proof has been found that Talcott's body was later removed to Glastenbury, Connecticut. No listing for his burial was found on Find A Grave.[4]

[1] Connecticut, online edition,,  accessed 5 Jan 2018.
[2] Age 26.
[3] Wikipedia, U.S.S. Brilliant,, accessed 5 Jan 2018.
[4] Find A Grave,, accessed 5 Jan 2018.

Published 18 Jan 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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