Skip to main content

To The Cause For Which It Stands

Not for fame or fortune, not for place of rank
Not lured by ambition, or goaded by necessity
But in simple obedience as they understood it
These men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all

A memorial service for my great-great-great-grandfather, Pleasant Hillary Ledbetter, a Corporal with Co. F, 16th TN Infantry CSA, during the civil war, was held Saturday, October 4th at the Ledbetter Family Cemetary at Collins Cove in Overton County, as the Myers-Zollicoffer Camp #1990, members of the Highland Brigade, and the Capt. Sally Tompkins Chapter #2123 United Daughters of the Confederacy unveiled a new marker at Cpl. Ledbetter's grave.

There was something about being there that day. Something that I cannot really explain. As I stood beside that old family cemetery, a soft breeze blew gently across my face, and my attention was quickly drawn away from the ceremony. Suddenly, I was in complete awe of where I was at...Collins Cove. To say I was completely engrossed in it would be an understatement. It was more than that. It totally had me. As my eyes traced along the landscape and I took in the panoramic view that was before me...the mountain in the background and the creek below it, it was like I could feel the presence of my ancestors who are buried they were looking down on us, smiling. The feeling was so overwhelming. I was standing on Pleasant Hillary's land, but I was so drawn to it, like I belonged there. I do not know why I waited so long to go to Collins Cove, but I know it will not be my last trip.

Pleasant Hillary Ledbetter was 24-years-old when he joined the Confederacy in 1861. He was one of 952 men at Camp Trousdale, who were armed with flintlock muskets. It was not a good experience for him. On the Soldiers Application for Pension, he filed on November 20, 1899, Pleasant Hillary wrote, "I took cold on measles, which I had at Camp Trousdale, which affects my throat and lungs badly. Freezing of my right foot to the bone during the march to Huttonsville, Virginia in the winter of 1861 totally disabled [me] for a month or more, and bothered me thereafter at times. [I was also] badly ruptured by said cough [from] straining." He said, "My throat and lung trouble rendered me during the remainder of my service in the army. For the last 25 years, I have been unable to do but little physical labor. The disabilities are permanent."

Cpl. Ledbetter was captured while on pickett duty near Loudon, Tennessee. He was given a choice of either going to prison, or taking the oath of allegience to the United States government. Being in bad state of health, he chose to take the oath.

His pension was denied.

Nothing is ended until it is forgotten. That which is held in memory still endures and is real. We are grateful for the records of the past which bring inspiration and courage. We are appreciative of the lessons taught by memorials to events and deeds of long ago. We pray that our lives may always be patterned to give such devotion and service, as did our forefathers. We, the members of Capt. Sally Tompkins #2123 United Daughters of the Confederacy, now dedicate this marker in grateful recognition of Corporal Pleasant Hillary Ledbetter of Co. F., 16th TN Infantry, CSA, a Confederate hero. May it remind all who pause, not only of the noble deeds of this Confederate hero, but of the continuing need for unselfish service. From this moment of dedication, we trust there may come inspiration for broader vision and finer service.

How I am directly related to Pleasant Hillary Ledbetter:

1. Pleasant Hillary Ledbetter
2. Alvin Ledbetter
3. Josie Ledbetter Speck
4. Cecil Speck
5. Darrell Speck
6. me


Popular posts from this blog

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …

Ode To A Mule

James Arness died today. Gunsmoke was every one's favorite TV show back when I was a kid. For years, at my house, we watched every single episode that came on the TV. There's isn't any need to explain the show because I am sure that most of you have seen an episode of Gunsmoke at one time or another.

When I heard that Mr. Arness has passed away, I went online, because I wanted to read some quotes from the TV show - more specifically, I wanted to read some dialogue between Festus, played by singer Ken Curtis (Sons of the Pioneers), and the rest of the cast. Festus had a way of speaking, but he always spoke the truth and what he said always made sense, well in a Festus-sort-of way, I guess.

So, I went online to do that, and well, one click led to another click, and then another and another, and before I knew it, I found myself on YouTube, and that's when I heard, for the first time in many years, this beautiful story that I want to share with you.

If you paid close atte…

Long Live The Goat Man

(This photo was made in the 1950's as the Goat Man passed through my town)
Charles McCartney was born on July 6, 1901. In 1915, at age 14, he ran away from his family's Iowa farm. He eventually wound up in New York, and was soon married to a Spanish knife-thrower. When she got pregnant they tried to make it as farmers, but bad weather and the Great Depression wiped them out. About the same time, he experienced a religious awakening. A man on a mission, he hitched up his team of goats to a wagon and took to the open road with his wife and son. His wife made goatskin clothes for him and his son to wear as a gimmick during their travels, but she quickly grew tired of the road and returned to Iowa, taking their son with her.

Charles McCartney looked like a goat. He smelled like one, too because he rarely took a bath. You take a fellow who looks like a goat, travels around with goats, eats with goats, lies down among goats and smells like a goat and it won't be long before peop…