Confederate Soldier’s Remains, Found in Louisiana, Reburied in Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ What began as a plan for a private ceremony to bury a Confederate soldier in his native Kentucky turned into a public homecoming at the Lexington Cemetery.
Capt. Simon R. Hayman was reburied Saturday, marking the end of a 15-year odyssey for his great-great-great nephew, John B. Wells III of Paintsville, who had traveled around the country in search of his kinsman.
″Originally, the eight members of the family were going to come and bury him in private,″ Wells said. ″But people kept asking and asking if they could be involved, and it just grew and grew.″
The Sons of Confederate Veterans conducted a funeral complete with cavalry, a color guard and a riderless horse. Twenty-five men in Confederate uniforms marched in the procession to the mournful beat of a single drum.
Wells said he began the search for Hayman’s remains in 1971 but had little to go on.
″If your mother told you as a child that you had a one-eyed, red-haired, peg-leg war hero in your background, then you would be a little more interested,″ said Wells.
Wells found out that during the war, Hayman was twice captured and paroled by Union forces. He also fought in a number of major battles, including Vicksburg, where he was cited for bravery. He was wounded at the battle of Fort Blakely, Ala., and later lost his leg.
Hayman had stayed in Louisiana after the war because he feared harassment from the government if he moved back to Kentucky, Wells said. He died in 1874 at age 52 of complications from his wounds.
Wells found Hayman’s grave last summer outside New Orleans when bodies were removed from a private cemetery that was about to be flooded by the construction of a levee.
A week earlier, another Confederate soldier was reburied in his native Tennessee. Cyrus G. Clark had been buried in a mismarked grave in Kentucky in 1863.