Civil War soldier gets headstone

Published 11:20 am Friday, June 22, 2012

Color Sgt. Tim Ballou of the 13th Virginia Mechanized Cavalry presents a Confederate flag to Lois Daughtrey, the granddaughter of Confederate veteran William E. Daughtrey while Patsy Falls looks on. The flag was presnted during a stone dedication ceremony on June 16 at a family cemetary across from Sycamore Baptist Church. DALE LIESCH/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—Civil War Veteran William E. Daughtrey spent 108 years without a proper headstone in the family cemetery across from Sycamore Baptist Church near Franklin.

That all changed June 13 when members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ 13th Virginia Mechanized Cavalry dedicated a headstone in his honor.

“We look for men buried without headstones who were with the 13th Virginia Cavalry,” said Mike Evans, a sergeant with the modern-day cavalry that traded in horses for motorcycles and a member of the Graves of the Brave Committee tasked with bringing headstones to Confederate veterans.

“We go anywhere in the state where one of our guys is buried and make sure the grave is maintained and make sure they have a military stone,” Evans added.

He got in contact with Daughtrey’s granddaughter, Lois Daughtrey of Franklin, about the stone and picked up the cause after Urquhart-Gillette Camp member Russell Darden died before completing the task.

Susan Lassiter, the great-granddaughter of William Daughtrey, said the dedication meant a lot to the family.

“We’re just excited to have his grave marker,” she said.

William Daughtrey, who camped at Fort Ruffin in Isle of Wight County and rode under Rooney Lee, the son of Robert E. Lee as well as Jeb Stuart during the war, was a member of a company that played a pivotal role in many battles including the Beefsteak Raid at the Battle of Gettysburg, said 13th Virginia Mechanized Cavalry Commander Mike Armistead.

“They did their very best to save this land for you,” Armistead said during the ceremony.

The dedication included a rifle salute and the presentation of a Confederate flag to Lois Daughtrey. Ladies in black, a bugler and a banjo player were also part of the ceremony.

William Daughtrey was born in 1838 and enlisted in the Confederacy in May 1861 and was paroled on April 30, 1865.

He married Belvey Ann Cotton in 1873 and they had seven children.