Camp Chase

Confederate

Cemetery

Columbus, Ohio

Information Compiled by

Dennis Brooke

Member of General Roswell Ripley Camp - SCV


 


The following speech about three soldiers buried at Camp Chase was given in June 14, 2015 by Monty Chase during the Hilltop Historical Society's Camp Chase Memorial Service.

Private James Buchannan Steele

PrivateJames Buchanan STEELE- Inscription on Camp Chase marker # 1791 reads: “JAMES B.STEEL (Misspelled as STEEL) CO. K 33 MISS. REG. C.S.A.” A descendant, C.V. Glennis stated James’smiddle name was Buchanan but the compiler was unable to confirm.The 1850U. S. census listed James B. Steel; age about twenty-five years in Mississippiand listed his occupation as a farmer and the head of the household living withwhat appears to be his wife, Rebecca who was about twenty-six years, and adaughter S. T. Steel about three years old, and a son Thomas A. Steel about oneyear old.  The U.S. census further notesthe family was living in Amite County. Amite in French means “Friendship”. By 1860,the U.S. census listed James B. Steele (Now corrected with the “E” on the endof the surname) as the head of household still living in Amite, County with thenearest Post Office reported as Liberty, the county seat.  His occupation on this census listed him as aPlanter with a real estate value at $900 and his personal estate worth $2,500.

 

Thecompiler notes among the household members were Susan Steele age about twelveyears old, Thomas Steele age about eleven years and Amos Steele age about eightyears and Harman Steele, age about six years and Matilda Steele, age about fouryears and William Steele, about seven months old.  Further, the compiler notes missing was thewife and mother, Rebecca Steele listed in the Federal census Mortality Scheduleof 1850-1880 as burned to death in January 1860.  The Camp Chase Chronicles detail that beforeMr. Steele enlisted in the Army, his house caught fire where he managed to saveall of his children but could not rescue his wife Rebecca.  Further, these chronicles reported that he was still wearing bandages on his burned arms when he entered the ConfederateArmy.  As of this day, an effort is beingmade to verify the validity of this report through the descendants. 

 

Since he enlisted three years after hiswife’s death, it seems somewhat suspect that he would still wear bandages fromhis burned arms that many years after the tragic house fire?  The Chronicles went on to say James B. Steele left his six children all under the ages of fifteen to the care of relativeswhen he left for Confederate service. James B.Steele enlisted at Brookhaven, Mississippi on January 16, 1863, in Company K ofthe 33rd Mississippi Infantry for three years or the duration of thewar.  Muster rolls show he was present inJune 1864 and again the following August which places him in the same battle order as James Floyd Faircloth during the Battle of Peachtree Creek andassigned to the same brigade.  From aletter dated July 20, 1864, Matthew Dunn also a soldier in Company K of the 33rdMississippi wrote the following. “We charged the Yankees and our brigade beingon the extreme right of the division was cut-to-pieces by not being supportedon the right—over half of our regiment was killed or wounded”. Havingsurvived the Atlanta Campaign, Private Steele marched with the Army ofTennessee on its way north to Franklin, Tennessee and Nashville.  But he didn’t quite make it.  He was admitted to the Lumpkin hospital(then) at Cuthbert, Georgia on September 21, 1864 being declared destitute forclothing.  His last company muster rolllisted him absent and missing at Columbia, Tennessee just south ofFranklin.  He was captured there onDecember 22, 1864, where Federal POW Records show Private Steele was taken to a United States Hospital at Nashville on January 21, 1865 for convalescence.  From there he was sent to Louisville,Kentucky where he arrived on January 24th and eventually to the CampChase Prison on January 27, 1865, during that severe cold winter month in Columbus, Ohio. Strangely,James’s story involves a case of stolen identity. The compiler notes that heleft Camp Chase and reported to Point Lookout, Maryland another Union prisoncamp on March 31, 1865. It goes to show us that some soldiers would do anythingto get out of central Ohio’s frigid cold January conditions.  Federal POW Records prove James B. Steele wasadmitted to the Camp Chase Hospital on March 18, 1865 for diarrhea dyingthirteen days later from this condition. No records exist as to the name of the soldier who stole PrivateSteele’s identity.  The Steelefamily gave much blood for the Confederate cause: James’s brother Davis BentonSteele was shot thru the nose and blinded for the rest of his life, whileanother brother, Samuel Steele, died in a hospital at Oxford, Mississippi afterbeing seriously wounded in battle. Today, weremember James Buchanan Steele and his family of six orphaned children.

 

James Floyd Faircloth

 

 Inscription on Camp Chase marker # 1234 reads: “SGT. J. F.FAIRCLOTH CO. G 57 ALA. REG. C.S.A.”While thetombstone here at Camp Chase lists his rank as a sergeant, we cannot verify hisrank because of a lack of Confederate Compiled Military Service Records afterOctober 1863. It was common protocol that once every two months when a southernsoldier received his pay, a physical head count and name identification,company, and rank was recorded on what was called a “muster roll”.  But due to frequent battles and hardmarching, Confederate muster records were sometimes lost in battle, destroyedor captured making complete sets hard to find as was this case. Meaning nodisrespect, we have to depend on Federal POW Records which lists JamesFaircloth’s rank as a private for any further discussion. The U.S.census of 1850 listed James F. Faircloth living with his father and mother,Raford and Ruth Faircloth, both about sixty years of age.  Records list James’s occupation as a farmerabout age twenty with two older sisters in their late twenties also stillliving at their parent’s home, in Pike County, Alabama where the Fairclothfamily settled after migrating from North Carolina.

 

JamesFloyd Faircloth married Temperance Lee sometime later that year after awhirlwind courtship according to great-grandson, Raford Faircloth.  Tempy as she was called, originally fromSouth Carolina, was about four years older than James and for the next tenyears they would live comfortably as they farmed two hundred and eighty acresof land in Coffee County in southeastern Alabama raising three young childrenand enjoying the fruits of their labor.  By the1860 pre-war U.S. census, James was now about age thirty and the head of household,still farming, with a real estate value of $600 and a personal property valueat $300 and residing near the Post Office of Clintonville, in Coffee County,Alabama. His wife Tempy was now about age thirty-four with children: James about age seven, Martha about age four, and Joshua age about one year. A fourthchild would be born the following year in 1861. Then thewar came which lasted longer than anyone had thought it could. After two yearsand many battles, the Confederacy was in dire need of every available whitemale, raising the conscription age and offering bonus’s for those eligible whowould enlist for three years or the duration of hostilities.  James being about thirty-four years andwithin draft age, enlisted on February 10, 1863 leaving forever behind his wifeand four children all under the age of twelve to fend for themselves.  PrivateFaircloth’s Company G, of the 57th Alabama Infantry was formed inTroy, Alabama in March 1863 and led by Captain Jesse O’Neal, of Featherston’sBrigade, Loring’s Division, Stewart’s Corps, Lieutenant General John BellHood’s Army of Tennessee during the Dalton-Atlanta Campaign.  Hood’s war injuries cost him permanent use ofhis left arm at Gettysburg, and at the Battle of Chickamauga, his right leg wasamputated but nonetheless determined as ever.

 

His aggressive leadership styleplaced Private Faircloth’s 57th Alabama in the midst of some of theheaviest fighting at Peachtree Creek just north of Atlanta where in late July1864, the Confederates were literally cut to pieces.  Afterwards, with Scott as its new brigadecommander, and fewer numbers, the 57th Alabama limped northward inan attempt with General Hood to cut off Sherman’s supply line and then defeatthe Union Army in Tennessee and then join Lee in Virginia.  A plan which noted Civil War historian JamesMcPherson said was “scripted in never-never land”.  The battle resulted in heavy Confederate lossesfrom unprotected frontal assaults at Franklin, Tennessee.  This battle is often referred to as “Pickett’sCharge of the West” where six Confederate generals died as a result of thebattle on November 30, 1864. Again the 57th Alabama was in the thickof some of the heaviest fighting that day.   We canonly imagine the carnage Private Faircloth witnessed as he straggled northwardagain toward Nashville where he was captured with several from his regiment onDecember 16, 1864. He was sent to Louisville, Kentucky and then to a frigid –cold Camp Chase, Ohio on January 4, 1865.  Here the prison population exploded that monthwith battle weary, some even shoeless, Confederate prisoners crammed into tightliving quarters on beds of straw with only one blanket issued perprisoner. 

 

It isunderstandable why the State of Alabama claims the greatest number of sons,four hundred and forty-six buried here at the Camp Chase Cemetery, and the 57thAlabama records twenty-nine of them, more than any other Alabama regiment.  Private James Floyd Faircloth rests heresuccumbing to pneumonia on February 14, 1865. During that same month, more diedin this prison than any other month of its existence – a total of four hundredand ninety-nine or about one quarter of the entire number of graves within thisenclosure. Sevenyears after James’s death, wife Tempy who never remarried, moved her family toJasper, Texas, dying in 1889 before that State started paying any pensions toConfederate Veterans widows. 

 

Today, somedescendants of James Floyd and Tempy Faircloth still live in and around theJasper, Texas area. It is wellto remember these brave and duty-bound men who never got to go home, and theones they left behind whose lives were forever changed!  PrivateJames Hezekiah JACKSON - Inscription on Camp Chase marker # 1588 reads: “J. H.JACKSON CO. K 5 MISS. CAV. C.S.A.”The 1850U.S. census listed James H. Jackson’s age as about thirty-one years old andborn in the State of Tennessee and noted he was the head of the household andlisted his occupation as a farmer and was living in DeSoto County, Mississippiwith a real estate value of $400 and personal estate not noted.  Other household members included his wife,Nancy J. Jackson, age about twenty-seven years, a daughter Mary Jackson, age aboutseven years, a son John W. Jackson, age about four years and James R. Jackson,age about two years and all children were born in the State of Mississippi. By 1860,the U.S. census listed J. H. Jackson’s age as about forty-one years and thehead of household and still living in DeSoto County, Mississippi with thenearest Post Office noted as Elm Grove. He was noted as a farmer with a realestate value of $300 and a personal property about the same. 

 

Other household members included his wifeNancy J. Jackson, age about thirty-seven years and born in Tennessee, and sonJohn W. Jackson, age about fourteen years and daughter Mary J., age aboutseventeen years, and a male son J.R., age about thirteen years and another maleson H.W., age about nine years and another male son H.S., age about seven yearsand finally another male son with an age of about one year and not named.CompiledMilitary Service Records indicate his company muster roll dated from August 1stto October 1, 1863 that James H. Jackson enlisted at Crockett, Mississippi onSeptember 1, 1863 for a term of three years or the duration of the war.  Further it noted he was present but sick andthat he had originally enlisted in George’s regiment of Mississippi Cavalrywhich subsequently became the 5th Mississippi Cavalry whicheventually would be under the leadership of the legendary Confederate CavalryGeneral, Nathan Bedford Forrest whose command often times fell under theauthority of the Army of Tennessee.

 

The 5th Mississippi Cavalry wasinvolved in heavy fighting as it screened the infantry’s movements when itmoved into battle position at Franklin, Tennessee in late November of 1864. Adescendant, Ann Simmons Bowers, writes that James Jackson’s son, John WhitfieldJackson, then about age eighteen, rode with his father in the same Company K ofthe 5th Mississippi Cavalry and would survive the war.    The Camp Chase Chronicles  wrote that two weeks after the Battle ofFranklin, Tennessee, the father James and his son John rode into battle at Nashvilleand because of James advanced age, now about forty-four years, was left behindto hold the horses as the troopers dismounted and fought on foot. This strategyearned their commander, General Forrest, the battle reputation for saying hisplan was to “Get there first with the most men”. But, when retreat was sounded,James refused to leave his post because his son hadn’t returned from battle toretrieve his mount; subsequently James Jackson was captured by Union forces onDecember 16, 1864 and transferred to Louisville, Kentucky on January 2, 1865and then forwarded to frigid – cold Camp Chase prison where he arrived onJanuary 4, 1865 along with others including Private James Floyd Faircloth ofthe 57th Alabama Infantry. 

 

Federal POW Records reported James was held in prison number two inbarracks number four at Camp Chase and died of pneumonia two months later onMarch 7, 1865. Eighteenyears passed, according to the Camp ChaseChronicles, with the Jackson family never knowing what had happened to theirbeloved father and husband and they finally learned from a published reportgiven to them by a neighbor that James Hezekiah Jackson had died while aprisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio.  ThreeAmericans we remember (Today - [June 14, 2015])…Men who faced the greatchallenge of their time, ordinary men who valued something more than theyvalued their own lives:“In thisnarrow enclosure, heroes sleep, there are no cowards here…These men were worthynot only of their country, but of age in which they lived, and with unselfishpatience, unfaltering fortitude, and magnificent courage, laid their all uponwhat they believed was the altar of right”! (Quote: from the 1897 Camp Chase Memorial Service by Colonel BennettHenderson Young, Cluke’s Regiment, 8th Kentucky Cavalry, Morgan’sDivision, C.S.A.) (Post note: Private Bennett H. Young’s Compiled MilitaryService Records are listed with Company B of the 8th KentuckyCavalry.)

 

Private James Hezekiah JACKSON

Inscription on Camp Chase marker # 1588 reads: “J. H. JACKSON CO. K 5 MISS. CAV. C.S.A.”

The 1850 U.S. census listed James H. Jackson’s age as about thirty-one years old and born in the State of Tennessee and noted he was the head of the household and listed his occupation as a farmer and was living in DeSoto County, Mississippi with a real estate value of $400 and personal estate not noted.  Other household members included his wife, Nancy J. Jackson, age about twenty-seven years, a daughter Mary Jackson, age about seven years, a son John W. Jackson, age about four years and James R. Jackson, age about two years and all children were born in the State of Mississippi.

By 1860, the U.S. census listed J. H. Jackson’s age as about forty-one years and the head of household and still living in DeSoto County, Mississippi with the nearest Post Office noted as Elm Grove. He was noted as a farmer with a real estate value of $300 and a personal property about the same.  Other household members included his wife Nancy J. Jackson, age about thirty-seven years and born in Tennessee, and son John W. Jackson, age about fourteen years and daughter Mary J., age about seventeen years, and a male son J.R., age about thirteen years and another male son H.W., age about nine years and another male son H.S., age about seven years and finally another male son with an age of about one year and not named.

Compiled Military Service Records indicate his company muster roll dated from August 1st to October 1, 1863 that James H. Jackson enlisted at Crockett, Mississippi on September 1, 1863 for a term of three years or the duration of the war.  Further it noted he was present but sick and that he had originally enlisted in George’s regiment of Mississippi Cavalry which subsequently became the 5th Mississippi Cavalry which eventually would be under the leadership of the legendary Confederate Cavalry General, Nathan Bedford Forrest whose command often times fell under the authority of the Army of Tennessee. The 5th Mississippi Cavalry was involved in heavy fighting as it screened the infantry’s movements when it moved into battle position at Franklin, Tennessee in late November of 1864.

A descendant, Ann Simmons Bowers, writes that James Jackson’s son, John Whitfield Jackson, then about age eighteen, rode with his father in the same Company K of the 5th Mississippi Cavalry and would survive the war.    

The Camp Chase Chronicles  wrote that two weeks after the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, the father James and his son John rode into battle at Nashville and because of James advanced age, now about forty-four years, was left behind to hold the horses as the troopers dismounted and fought on foot. This strategy earned their commander, General Forrest, the battle reputation for saying his plan was to “Get there first with the most men”. But, when retreat was sounded, James refused to leave his post because his son hadn’t returned from battle to retrieve his mount; subsequently James Jackson was captured by Union forces on December 16, 1864 and transferred to Louisville, Kentucky on January 2, 1865 and then forwarded to frigid – cold Camp Chase prison where he arrived on January 4, 1865 along with others including Private James Floyd Faircloth of the 57th Alabama Infantry.  Federal POW Records reported James was held in prison number two in barracks number four at Camp Chase and died of pneumonia two months later on March 7, 1865.

Eighteen years passed, according to the Camp Chase Chronicles, with the Jackson family never knowing what had happened to their beloved father and husband and they finally learned from a published report given to them by a neighbor that James Hezekiah Jackson had died while a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio.  

Three Americans we remember (Today - [June 14, 2015])…Men who faced the great challenge of their time, ordinary men who valued something more than they valued their own lives:

“In this narrow enclosure, heroes sleep, there are no cowards here…These men were worthy not only of their country, but of age in which they lived, and with unselfish patience, unfaltering fortitude, and magnificent courage, laid their all upon what they believed was the altar of right”!  (Quote: from the 1897 Camp Chase Memorial Service by Colonel Bennett Henderson Young, Cluke’s Regiment, 8th Kentucky Cavalry, Morgan’s Division, C.S.A.) (Post note: Private Bennett H. Young’s Compiled Military Service Records are listed with Company B of the 8th Kentucky Cavalry.)