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When Pieces Come Together

Updated: Apr 12

According to burial records, Irene Gober (Bushrod’s wife of a decade) would soon move to Alabama with their two boys. Or maybe she would remarry and stay a round Northeast Mississippi a while.

I’m not much on genealogy, not so sure how much more I would know if I were. Needless to say Irene’s story is a bit hazy.

However, the fact is clear Bushrod was laid to rest in 1863 at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Union County Mississippi.

His body situated by little Mary’s. Irene and Bushrods infant daughter that had passed away four short years before. In a cemetery that has witnessed a less than peaceful past.

According to an August 12, 2017 article in the Daily Journal. The church was founded in 1842. However its physical structure collapsed due to neglect during the Civil War. From 1862-1866 no one came around to maintain it. The members were afraid to congregate. They were afraid of the Union Troops and Raiders. Raiders were neither confederate or union. They were just mean folks who would steal anything they could.

The war wasnt the only thing to cause unrest at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery. The infamous tornadoes of 1920 showed no mercy to North East Mississippi.

The “Ingomar – Glen Tornado” on April 20th of that year was an F4 that claimed 24 lives in its near 60 mile stretch.

The tornado turned the marble markers on the hillside at Pleasant Ridge into what one might have mistaken for pieces of Styrofoam. Not only taking them out of the ground and mortar but tossing them about weightlessly before dispersing the broken pieces and dropping them aimlessly along its North Eastern route. A route that 't complete until striking a home with five children, killing all.

That tragedy and devastation somehow 200 years later, led to me.

It was late summer when I received a phone call from a gentleman in Florida. The call was in regards to the headstone of one Bushrod Washington Gober.

Now this gentleman was a life long Texan, who recently moved over to the panhandle. Never had he, his parents, or children lived in Mississippi.

However in the mid 1800’s he had a great (maybe great great uncle) move to Mississippi by way of Atlanta. Give or take a few miles.

Bushrod Gober was the great relatives name. Fall of 1852 he married a lady folks called Irene. from Tippah County. They shared three children and nearly eleven years of marriage.

The following is how the article reads.

GOBER, Bushrod Washington – was born6/10/1830 in Georgia, possibly DeKalbCounty. He was the son of Wiley Gober andbrother of William Harrison Gober. Bushrodmarried Arena Wiginton, daughter of HenryWiginton and Arena Reed on 10/22/1852 inTippah County. According to muster rolls, heserved in 12 Battalion, 10th Calvary, Co H.His widow’s Bible states,“B.W. Gober wasshot and killed by Yankees on the 3rd day ofAugust, 1863.” An account of his death is inthe dairies of Rev. Samuel Agnew, a copy ofwhich is in the Lee County Public Library(also at entry for 8/4/1863 reads: “It seems thata body of Feds – number unknown –camedown on Hatchie on Sunday. On Monday theykilled Wash Gober. Gober shot a man whohad run to the Yankees first. They chargedhim and eight loads entered his body. Thisoccured near Geno’s (formerly Winter’s) Mill.The Yankees burned the mill and theresidence of a Capt Cheatham.“The entryfor 8/6/1863 reads: “The Yankees at Geno’sMill were Reid’s Tories (southern unionists).They burned the house of Parson Jeter.”Bushrod Gober is buried beside his infantdaughter, Mary, at the Pleasant RidgeCemetery in what is now Union County, MS.Submitted by Anne Freeman.

I made my way up that hill on the East side of the county and unearthed the pieces of Mr Bushrod Gobers stone.

I cleaned, pieced, and restored.

I was tickled pink to see Mr Mike and his son pull in the church parking lot. They had driven up from Florida to see the stone and place a Confederate Iron Cross at the gravesite.

I ran up, introduced myself, and said “I have a surprise for you.”

We made our way through the cemetery until we reached Bushrod’s headstone. Not only was it white, in one piece and standing for the first time in over 100 years, but it was all those things along with little Mary’s headstone.

I happened to discover  hers under a pile of black marble rubble.

Marble Restoration

I cleaned, pieced together, restored, and reset the lone Father Daughter Duo. The pair had not stood together since 1920. Now they stand together in the center of that big hill.

Mr Mike and I just smiled and got kinda quiet. Almost as if we were witnessing a reunion of sorts.

Confederate soldier marble restoration

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