Huffman/Lanier Cemetery (1884) -- The first grave was that of Elijah Huffman (March 10, 1807-August 24, 1884), the son of Major George Huffman who served in the War of 1812). Elijah's brother-in-law was Edmond Lanier, father of five Confederate soldiers, four of whom never came home .
Members and friends of the Rocky Face Rangers, SCV Camp 1948, erected two markers on 7 Jan 2012 in memory of Jacob and Elkanah Lanier.
(L-R) Harold Dagenhart, 2nd Lt. Cdr of the NC State SCV, Marshall Bolick, Savannah Bolick, Lefey Brown, and Anthony "Dai" Bolick.
A Dedication Ceremony will be held at the cemetery on
Sunday July 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm.
FOR A STORY OF THE LANIER BROTHERS AND THOSE
WHO ARE BEING MEMORIALIZED, PLEASE READ:
LANIER, JOSEPH S., Private, Company A, 18th Regiment N. C. Troops - Resided in Catawba County where he enlisted at age 27, August 14, 1862, for the war.Present or accounted for until he died in hospital at Richmond, Virginia, February 9, 1863, of "scrofula." [NCT-6:316]
LANIER, Benjamin., Private. Resided in Rowan County and enlisted in Brunswick County at age 18, May 30, 1861, for the war. Died at Richmond, Virginia, January 13, 1862 or February 15, 1862. Cause of death not reported. [NCT-4:109]
Some time ago, I was provided a booklet authored by Shayle "Millstone John" Edwards of Sherrills Ford, NC. His account provided a poignant story of two Confederate soldiers who suffered privation and the pangs of starvation during the tribulations following the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. This resulted in the Confederat e Army seeking to instill tough discipline among these demoralized troops. During the ensuing months, lack of ammunition and rations took their toll.
Members of 18th Regiment formed foraging expeditions, hoping to find subsistence rations wherever they might. Men from the regiment, scavenging for food gathering apples and green corn were apprehended and charged with desertion. For this, were tried, convicted and executed. As musket balls tore into their bodies, they never departed from their faith in the Confederate cause.
Today, historians and descendants seek to recognize the circumstances that led to this harsh and unfair punishment. Desertion was never on the minds of Elkana and Jacob Lanier during their attempt to survive. This is confirmed by letters written to family members during their confinement. They attest to their religious convictions, strict moral character and undying support for the Confederacy.
And now, during the Sesquicentennial of that terrible war, it is incumbent on their descendants and supporters to find justice for these men who were unjustly convicted and the wrongly executed.
I am attaching a letter from Rev. Partee Boliek, [Lanier-petition] a descendant of these two unfortunate soldiers. In the letter, he petitions NC Governor Beverly Purdue to exercise her authority to grant a posthumous pardon to Elkana and Jacob Lanier, based on the evidence that has been gathered over the years.
I am asking you to become involved in this worthy cause. I am also requesting that you to write a letter to Gov. Purdue to act on this request for a pardon, without delay, so that the memorial scheduled for the 1st of July, 2012 will take place without any question that these soldiers have earned their place in history. One hundred and fifty years have passed without recognizing the true bravery these men displayed. Many service men from then until now have been denied recognition for their valor because of unintended circumstances. This is an opportunity to right a wrong. Please join with me in exercising your desire to see justice for Elkana and Jacob Lanier.
With or without vindication of these brave soldiers, the ceremony will be held at the Huffman-Lanier Cemetery, close to Lake Hickory, in Catawba County, North Carolina. Information on this dedication may be found at: http://www.catawbascv.org/Huffman-Lanier.htm
The story of Elkana and Jacob is on the Internet at: http://www.ncgenweb.us/catawba/military/Civil%20War/lanier.htm
And to those who would like to witness a momentous memorial ceremony are cordially invited to attend this ceremony. It will take place at 3:00pm on July the 1st, 2012. Hopefully and prayerfully, you will write to Governor Purdue asking her to do the right thing and grant the posthumous pardon these brave soldiers deserve.
Derick S. Hartshorn
Cemetery photos by Derick S. Hartshorn.
Derick S. Hartshorn - © 2011