After more than 150 years in anonymity, a local causality of the Civil War will now have a final resting place, next to his parents at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Scotland County.
“After many years of searching, I have finally been able to secure a tombstone for one of our ancestors who lived in Scotland County as a child and young man and who died in the Civil War in Nashville, TN,” said Bruce Rodgers.
James Henry Ray lived with his parents near where the Pleasant Hill cemetery is and enrolled in place of his father John Ray and went to war in his name.
“We never knew what had happened to him until I did an exhaustive search in Washington, D.C. last summer, finally finding his records and discovering he was buried in an unmarked grave in Nashville,” said Rodgers.
With the information in hand, Rodgers applied to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for a military headstone to record James Henry Ray’s passing.
“The marker just arrived with Ronnie Tinkle a couple of weeks ago,” said Rodgers.
He and his cousins have planned to place the marker on June 2nd, installing it between James Henry Ray’s parents’ stones in Pleasant Hill.
“He will be home at last,” said Rodgers.
When he first put the word out about the project and the proposed plan, several family relatives from as far away as Washington state, announced plans to attend.
“Lots of them have decided to make the pilgrimage to Scotland County to participate, and now a family reunion at the cemetery is in the works.”
Rodgers said the group is planning to barbecue and has even secured a portable restroom facility for the day.
While the plan initially focused on family members, Bruce said anyone interested in history or wanting to pay respects to the Civil War soldier, is welcome to attend.