We're stopping at Vicksburg National Battlefield, then head to the Brogan and Clark Cemeteries in Claiborne County, Tennessee, and finishing up with a trip to the McKenzie Cemetery in Galax, Virginia before we head home. I'll be taking pictures and using BillionGraves to index the cemeteries.
There is a stark difference between these cemeteries which I have found interesting in planning our visits. The hardest thing about planning the Tennessee visits has actually been locating the cemeteries on a map. Trying to travel on roads that Google Maps doesn't know, I have to admit, feels like striking out onto a new frontier. I've done the best I can to give us the most detailed instructions possible because I have no idea how rural this is about to become. But every time I try to explain to my husband where we're going, it's basically like:
It'll be a really special experience to go see John Clark's grave at the Clark Cemetery after going to Vicksburg. He fought with the 61st Tennessee for the Confederacy, and I will definitely want to pay my respects for his sacrifice. I'm excited to learn more about where he was throughout the battle, and to stand on the ground where he stood.
Planning for the McKenzie Cemetery was very different because the cemetery is much larger, and in a wide open, accessible place. Thanks to New River Notes, together with context clues in some of the pictures from FindAGrave.com, I was able to map out the McKenzie Cemetery pretty accurately. If we have the time, we'll map out the entire cemetery using BillionGraves. If not, we'll do my family members and hit the road. It was hard to be selective because I'm related to at least 1/3 of the cemetery, but we have our limitations on time. Sometimes we can't afford to do all the good we want to do, at least not in one sitting.
Planning for this trip has proved to be just as productive as actually going. As I was combing through the cemetery index on New River Notes, I found something surprising...
|Hallie Doyle on the McKenzie Cemetery roster--available on New River Notes, 17 Jun 2013|
Buried in this cemetery at an unmarked grave is a child of Glenn E. Doyle and Pearl May Bartlett. As far as I knew they had 10 children who were all accounted for--all raised in Cecil County, Maryland. But it never occurred to me to look in this part of Virginia where they met (and, I assume, married) to see if they lost any children there.
Hallie Doyle is their daughter. I'm assuming she was born and died in 1926. She is the only person with the last name Doyle buried in that cemetery. It is a special thing to think that my grandfather had another sister that I didn't know about, and I've found her after all this time. She isn't lost or forgotten anymore.
And while her short little life no doubt brought anguish into the lives of her young parents, I know they're together with her now. There simple is not hurt on earth that heaven cannot heal, and I'm so happy that I can be apart of uncovering and preserving the history.