Yesterday, I was drawn to my WAITS ancestors in Ohio and thought I would look through all of the records in www.findagrave.com that listed WAITS in Brown County, Ohio. It sorts them according to the name of the cemetery and I was almost immediately rewarded with a hit in the Batavia Cemetery. Here is a picture of the headstone of my g-g-g-uncle William C Waits and his wife Elizabeth L Leopold, courtesy of Kevin Guy; Civil War enthusiast and Find A Grave volunteer.
You may remember William C WAITS from this post [Photo Find! James G WAITS]. I told you about how they both fought in the Civil War. My g-g-g-grandfather James survived, his brother William did not. Previous information led me to believe that William died in an Army Hospital in Winchester VA, so the inscription "burried on battlefield" came as a surprise to me! So I decided to do a little digging and see if I could uncover the truth about his death.
According to this letter, William C was last heard from 4 Jul 1862 when he wrote his wife from the hospital at Winchester VA. I wonder what the letter to his wife said... what are the chances that it's still around?
[caption id="attachment_265" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="This is an excerpt from a letter written "December the 15th, 1862" from William and James' father Charles Waits to their brother Reason Waits. I don't know where the original is. This was given to me by my cousin, and is on page 5 of 24. Almost all letters are written to Reason Waits. I would love to see originals and/or the responses to these letters so we can paint a clearer picture of the discussions."][/caption]
According to this book, he was reported absent after being sick in Cumberland MD.
[caption id="attachment_266" align="aligncenter" width="542" caption="The main source for this roster is the: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866. Vol. V., 54th-69th Regiments - Infantry. Akron, Ohio: The Werner Ptg. and Mfg. Co., 1887."][/caption]
Yet another search on Ancestry.com uncovered this listing:
|Enlistment Date:||27 Dec 1861|
|Service Record:||Enlisted as a Private on 27 December 1861 at the age of 33.|
Enlisted in Company B, 60th Infantry Regiment Ohio on 27 Dec 1861.
Died of disease Company B, 60th Infantry Regiment Ohio on 8 Jul 1862 at Cumberland, MD.
Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA form the following list of works.
So I guess I don't really know why his headstone says that he was buried on the battlefield since he apparently died of disease in Cumberland MD. From what I've read about the conditions the soldiers of the 60th Ohio Infantry had to endure... forced marches... low supplies... that could have something to do with it. I also read that some succumbed to childhood diseases that they hadn't been exposed to when they were younger. Either I read about someone having the mumps or I dreamed about it last night... foggy now. Hm.
Where did they bury people who died in an Army hospital back then? I searched on the internet for a couple of hours before deciding that I better just post this.
The Clarysville Inn near Cumberland was used as a military hospital during the time that William was hospitalized. They had a nearby graveyard, but those graves were moved to The Antietam Cemetery. But The Antietam Cemetery has their records online and he isn't listed there. Hm. Maybe a helpful reader or long lost relative will help me figure that one out.
What I do know is that he left behind a family who loved him; a wife and at least three young children, along with his elderly father and 11 brothers and sisters.
Thank you for your service, William Christopher Waits. Rest in Peace, wherever you are.