Posts Tagged ‘Crawfordsville’

Northern Cannon at Oak Hill

August 24, 2009

Cannon at Oak HillThomas F. Birchfield was a member of the 18th Light Artillery Battery of Eli Lilly during the War between the States.  He enlisted on July 18, 1862 and mustered out June 30, 1865.  According to his family, he was given a cannon for his heroic actions.    He and a fellow soldier carried their General to safety after he had been wounded.  After the war, he lived in Crawfordsville and Terre Haute.  The old soldiers of Montgomery County used the cannon to celebrate the 4th of July every year.  When he was on his death-bed, his wife asked him what they should do with the cannon.  He said, “Put it on my grave and point ‘er south.”

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James A. Anderson

August 17, 2009

The saddest of all stories of Confederates buried in Montgomery County is the story of James A. Anderson.  Anderson was one of about 14,000 POWs from the surrender of Fort Donelson in Tennessee.  These soldiers were shipped north, probably headed for Camp Douglas in Chicago.  Keith Houk, a local historian, picked up the story in his article in the Montgomery County Family History book published in 1988.  Houk writes, “He was taken north as a prisoner of war in early March of 1862.  While being taken to the prison camp at Camp Tippecanoe in Lafayette, IN, he became sick and died on March 21, 1862.  He died on the POW train near Crawfordsville.  His body was left at Camp Lane in Crawfordsville and his remains were taken to Old Town Cemetery for burial.  His gravesite is unmarked.  James A. Anderson and John Bush, another Confederate POW who is buried in the Old Thortown Cemetery in Thortown, IN, were among many southern soldiers who died while prisoners of war on Hoosier soil.”  There were 38 Confederate POWs who died in Lafayette, but that story has already been written by Mary Immel in a book entitled,  “Beneath These Stones.”

James Anderson