Organizations honor graves of fallen veterans in Calloway County

The Revolutionary War took place more than 200 years ago. Generations of descendants of the Revolutionary War veterans have kept their heroes’ memories alive.

In honor of the American Revolution, soldiers who are buried in Calloway County, the Bonner family descendants, the Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter of the Kentucky Sons of the American Revolution and the Captain Wendell Oury Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution groups will host a Patriot Grave Marking Service at Bonner Cemetery on Saturday at 3p.m.

The SAR and Daughters of the American Revolutions (DAR) in western Kentucky are some of the most active chapters in the state of Kentucky.

The Trigg County chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution is considered the most active with more than 50 members.

This chapter makes their own uniforms, buttons (made out of horn), and has traveled to fifth grade classrooms in the area to educate students on the American Revolution. 

Ann Uddberg, Daughters of the American Revolution member from Murray, has researched the history of the area’s Revolutionary War veterans. Uddberg, whose mother was also a Daughters of the American Revolution member, said she has counted approximately 24 veterans buried in Calloway County. The soldier who the ceremony will honor is Pvt. William Bonner, NC & SC.

Bonner, who died in 1834, was a Revolutionary War veteran who participated in several enlistments.

Uddberg said he fought in the Battle of Hanging Rock, which was the first real victory the southern army had. The win at this battle set the stage for two  major wins in the southern army’s fight in the war.

Uddberg said she was amazed by the number of veteran descendants in the area. Western Kentucky was not able to be used until 1820 when Andrew Jackson bought the land from the Cherokee.

When this area was adopted, free land was given to Revolutionary War veterans.

“When they came there were no roads, no farms, no churches, no commerce,” Uddberg said. “They had to build everything and most of them were old.”

After veterans moved and settled into the area, many descendants stayed. Uddberg said she has seen as many as six generations of Revolutionary War veterans’ descendants buried in the same cemetery.

Some of these descendants have contributed to Murray State. Peter Waterfield was a Revolutionary War veteran and one of his descendants is the namesake of Waterfield Library.

Uddberg said there are several other buildings on campus that have ties with the Daughters of the American Revolution including Mason Hall and Springer and Hester residential college.

The grave marking ceremony will last about one hour and will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance. The DAR and SAR creed will then be recited by members and wreaths will be laid from each DAR chapter present. Uddberg said she expects there to be three or four chapters in attendance.

The service will continue with speakers highlighting the Revolutionary War and Bonner. Conclusions will be made by the playing of the military song “Taps” by a Murray State student and flag folding.

If students are interested in more information regarding the American Revolutionary War and the descendants in Calloway County, Uddberg said Pogue Library has multiple sources and information to discover.

Story by Tiffany WhitfillStaff writer