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South Carolina casualty gets headstone in Louisa

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

Caroline Smith Sherman, great-great-great-grandaughter of John L. Coleman, along with Scott Coleman, the Confederate soldiers’ great-great-great-nephew, and his wife, Glinda Coleman.

In 1993, Scott Coleman of Chester, S.C. learned of his ancestor, David Coleman, and a far away battle at a place called Trevilian Station in Virginia.

It was in Trevilians that David Coleman and his brother, John L. Coleman, both members of the 6th South Carolina Cavalry Company A, would fight in an effort to stop the destruction of the Virginia Central Railroad and the towns of Gordonsville and Charlottesville as Union General Philip Sheridan tried to link up with General David Hunter to destroy Virginia’s infrastructure. 

On June 11, 1864, Scott’s great-great-uncle, John, would be killed and buried in an unmarked grave. Scott and his wife, Glinda, decided to recognize the sacrifice of his family by applying for a memorial stone to be placed in Louisa County where John, at the age of 44, died so far from his home.

Scott applied to the Veterans Administration for a memorial stone, one that would be marked “In Memory Of.”  The V.A. has issued thousands of these stones and many have been placed in Louisa County. However, the V.A. denied the stone for Coleman, stating that they do not provide them for Confederate veterans. This conflicts with federal law, which recognizes Confederate soldiers as U.S. veterans.

Undeterred, Scott appealed for a regular Confederate marker, but again was denied because he did not know where the remains of John Coleman were buried. Appeals to his federal elected representatives were of no avail, so Scott decided to go it on his own. 

The marker would now cost the family between $800 and $1,000 depending upon the stone chosen. The Lucy Holcombe Pickens Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy of Chester, S.C. made a donation, as did John Coleman’s great-great-granddaughter, and Nelle Rowland of S.C. Many others donated and soon the marker was delivered to Scott.

This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s Feb. 14, 2019 issue.

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