Skip to main content

The Stone

On April 15, 1863, Jacob Jackson Andrew signed up as a member of the 32nd Kentucky Infantry, whose primary objectives were to prevent incursions by raiders and guerillas, and to protect the capitol city at Frankfort during the Civil War. Andrew performed his duties faithfully until early 1864, when the U.S. government began disbanding many of its units. The 32nd Kentucky was included in the down-sizing and so, after nine months, Jacob Andrew's time of service in the Civil War ended.

Following the war, Jacob became a successful miller. His life was as uneventful as any other man of his time. He was born April 9, 1838 to John C. and Elizabeth Cooper Andrew. He married Luretha Sandusky on April 29, 1858, and he died on November 29, 1889.

It was what happened AFTER Jacob's death that proved to be unusual.

In the 1890's, Congress passed a bill entitling all Union veterans to a marble tombstone for the 'services rendered to a grateful nation.' Entitlement required an applicant to have served at least six months with an honorable discharge and proof of service, etc.

Someone in Jacob's family took the time to make an application on behalf of their late relative. The request was approved and the tombstone was made, more than likely in New Albany, Indiana.

Inscribed on the tombstone was:

Sergeant J.J. Andrew
"Company C"
32nd Kentucky Infantry

A lot of work and expense went into making the stone and then getting it to the cemetery where Andrew is buried. If it was made at New Albany, Indiana, then it had to be put aboard a steamboat on the Ohio River, and then taken downriver where it would have been transferred over to another boat on the Cumberland River and eventually making its way to Albany landing, where it would have been loaded onto a freight wagon and driven to Albany, and finally driven by private wagon to Andrew's final resting place. But, that's where the story takes a bizarre turn.

After all of the effort that was made, incuding the making of the stone, and the time and expense it took to get the stone to the cemetery...

Jacob's tombstone was NEVER set onto his grave! For 120 years, the stone lay on the ground...untouched.

As fate would have it, last October, while Andrew Cemetery was being cleaned up, Jacob's tombstone was FOUND buried beneath a pile of brush.

One of my readers, friend Kelly Upchurch, suggested that perhaps the family was split on their loyalty, North or South, and didn’t want the Yankee headstone in the cemetery. He is probably correct in his theory. Even today, North versus South emotions still exist. I had family on both sides of that war. One of my pro-Union ancestors on my mom's side was killed in the war, while one of my pro-Confederacy ancestors on my dad's side struggled after the war because the government would not approve his pension.

As far as Jacob Jackson Andrew is concerned, they say every tombstone tells a story. Now his story, at least some of it, will be known to anyone and everyone who visits his gravesite. This Friday, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars will conduct a service at Jacob's grave. Finally, Jacob Jackson Andrew will officially be laid to rest.

(Jacob Andrew, left, and his brother, Shelby.)

(Information for this story was compiled by my cousin, Gary Norris.)


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…