HOLLYWOOD CEMETERY -- ONE FAMILY'S STORY
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[Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia, October 2012]
During a recent JPG Meet-Up in Richmond, Virginia, we spent some time in Richmond’s iconic Hollywood Cemetery.
Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place of two American presidents: John Tyler and James Monroe.
It is also the final resting place of the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis (photo, at left).
I turned to Mary Brown (a JPG member) and said that I thought some of my “Knight” ancestors were buried in Hollywood Cemetery, but I wasn't sure. Moments later, Mary called out and said that she had found a “Knight Family” grave. I walked over and recognized a name on the tombstone: “Emmett Carter Knight.”
In 1864, Emmett Carter Knight was a 16-year-old cadet at the Virginia Military Institute when the Corps of Cadets was ordered to march 80 miles north to New Market, Virginia, to support the Confederate Army. The VMI cadets reached New Market in four days and were immediately sent into battle. Of the 257 cadets that entered the fray, ten were killed and 48 were wounded. Emmett Carter Knight survived the battle, returned to school, and resigned. Making his way to Richmond, he enlisted in the famous “Richmond Artillery” for the balance of the War.
Emmett Carter Knight and I are 1st cousins three times (that is, three generations) removed. How is that calculated?
My great-great grandfather, John Hughes Knight, Jr. had a brother, William Carter Knight. Those two men each had a son: John Thornton Knight (my great-grandfather) and Emmett Carter Knight, respectively. Those sons were 1st cousins because their fathers were brothers. Now, counting down from my great-grandfather, you go through my grandfather (once removed), my father (twice removed), and me. That makes Emmett Carter Knight my 1st cousin, three times removed. (Got it? I hope so. You will be quizzed on this material.)
The charge of the “New Market Cadets” is immortalized in a “heroic” painting that hangs in VMI’s “Jackson Memorial Hall.” As a graduate of VMI, I am proud of VMI’s role in the American Civil War, and I am proud of my distant cousin’s participation in the Battle of New Market. The cadets were only boys, but they performed their duty.
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Also by Richard Knight
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