Family Stories

Smoloff Pallas Love – Veteran of Mexican and Civil War – Muhlenberg County

Smoloff Pallas Love had a great love for his country – he served during two wars, Mexican and Civil.  He followed in the footsteps of his father, Granville N. Love, who was a soldier during the War of 1812, and served during the Battle of Thames on October 5, 1813, when Kentuckians defeated the British, French and Indians.  His mother was Clementine Mershon, second wife of Granville.

S.P. Love married Jane McConnell, July 15, 1850, in Muhlenberg County.  The couple had eleven children who lived to adulthood:

  1. Nancy M. Love, married Daniel Mosley, February 20, 1895
  2. John G. Love married G. E. Dennis, February 16, 1874
  3. Mary Beatrice Love married Edward I. Yonts, November 14, 1876
  4. Annie R. Love married a Mr. White
  5. Fannie P. Love married H. B. Barkis, March 2, 1882
  6. Buella Love married. D. Harris, November 30, 1882, and after his death Henry Nunan
  7. Lucien T. Love 1870-1898
  8. Jenny Love married H. F. Young, August 4, 1897
  9. Sallie Love married George A. Hillebert, January 22, 1902
  10. Adelia Love married George E. Gossett, November 16, 1892
  11. Lucy Love married J. W. Vomburg

from A History of Muhlenberg County, Otto A. Rothert, 1913

Judge S. P. Love, or, as he was more frequently called, Colonel S. P. Love, came to the county at the age of twenty-three, after an active life here of more than half a century died in Greenville on March 26, 1903.  No Muhlenberg man was more highly esteemed by his fellow-citizens than was Colonel Love.  I quote in full from the Greenville Record:

‘Colonel Smoloff Pallas Love died at his home at 7:15 o’clock last Thursday morning, after an illness that confined him to his bed for several weeks.  He was born May 10, 1826, in Lincoln County, and was reared in Garrard County.  In 1846 he enlisted as a private in Captain Donovan’s command, being mustered into service at Mexico, Missouri, from which point he marched to Mexico, participating in numerous engagements during the Mexican War and being discharged from the service after the battle of Buena Vista.  He had been appointed second lieutenant but was never commissioned.

‘In 1849 he came to this county, and on the 15th of July 1850, was united in marriage by Rev. John N. Sharp to Miss Jane McConnell, daughter of John Henry McConnell, of this county.  He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel in the Eleventh Kentucky Regiment of the Federal army, under Colonel P. B. Hawkins, in August 1861, and in May 1863, was made colonel of the regiment. He was constantly with his command, and his bravery, fidelity and consideration for his men endeared every member strongly to him.  He was in the engagements at Shiloh and Perryville and in all the skirmishes in pursuit of Bragg’s army when it retreated from Kentucky.  He also participated in the siege of Knoxville, in the campaign under General Burnside in East Tennessee, and in all battles in which Sherman’s army was engaged on the march from Ringgold to Atlanta.  He was discharged at Bowling Green, December 16, 1864.

‘In 1866 Colonel Love moved with his family from South Carrollton to Greenville, and in the same year was elected judge of the county, which position he held for two terms.  After the expiration of his official term he engaged in the practice of law and was an active and successful advocate.  For some years he had been a sufferer from a complication of diseases, and for the past few years had not been able to follow his profession.

Col. S. P. Love, 1826-1903.  Jane Love, 1833-1910.  Greenville Cemetery, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

‘Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery Friday afternoon with full military honors, several hundred people being in attendance. Messrs. John A. Williams, W. c. Shannon, Nathan McClelland, D. E. Rhoads, John Coombs and Robert Casebier were pallbearers, and an escort of about forty men of his old command, and many other members of the G. A. R., aided in the ceremonies of the last respect.  Company F, Third Regiment Kentucky State Guard, under Captain R. C. McCracken, was in line and formed the firing squad, Bugler Clarence B. Hayes blowing taps that closed the service impressively.

‘The widow survives, and the following children:  Mrs. Dan Mosely, Depoy; John G. Love, Central City; Mrs. Edward l. Yonts and Mrs. Annie R. White, of Greenville; Mrs. H. F. Young, Louisville; Mrs. George Gossett, Paducah; Mrs. J. W. Vomburg, Russellville; Mrs. Henry Nunan, Gurdon, Arkansas; Mrs. George A. Hillebert, Lehigh, Indian Territory.  Their daughter Mrs. H. B. Barkis died in 1884, and their son Lucien T. Love in 1896.  Colonel Love united with the Presbyterian Church at this place in 1882.  Rev. G. F. Bell conducted a short service at the home, in which he was assisted by Rev. T. C. Peters, of the Methodist Church.’

The few reunions of the veterans of the Mexican War that have taken place in Muhlenberg were proposed and conducted by Colonel Love, who probably took a more brotherly interest in the veterans of the Mexican and Civil wars than any other man in the county.  He helped compile the history of the Eleventh Kentucky Infantry, published in ’The Union Regiments of Kentucky’ (1897).

Seven years after his death a poem written by Colonel Love was found among some of his personal papers.  It was printed in the Greenville Record on July 14, 1910, by Orien L. Roark, who in his comment says: ‘His comrades in this county will recognize in this a personal appreciation of the soldier which was always manifest in their brave and true commander, who shared with the rank and file all the dangers and privations, and was first to give to the men the credit for the glories and fortunes of war.’

Had Colonel Love published this poem during his life he probably would have dedicated it not only to the local veterans of the Civil War, but also to the Muhlenberg men in the Mexican War.


By S. P. Love

Our ranks are growing thinner, 
Every year.
And death is still a winner
Every year.
Yet we still must stick together
Like the toughest kind of leather,
And in any kind of weather,
Every year.

Our comrades have departed
Every year,
And left us brokenhearted
Every year.
But their spirits fondly greet us
And constantly entreat us
To come, that they may meet us,
Every year.

Our steps are growing slower
Every year,
Pale death is still a mower
Every year,
Yet we faced him in the battle,
Amid the muskets’ rattle,
And defied his final edict,
Every year.

We are growing old and lonely
Every year,
We have recollections only
Every year,
That we bled for this great nation
On many a field and station
And with any kind of ration
Every year.

Many people may forget us
Every year,
And our enemies may fret us
Every year,
But while onward we are drifting
Our souls with hope are lifting
To heavenly scenes, still shifting,
Every year.

In the May-time of the flowers
Every year,
We shall live in golden hours
Every year,
And our deeds be sung in story
Down the ages growing hoary-
With a blaze of living glory
Every year.
The Record, Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
Thursday, May 5, 1910

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