Hillside Cemetery in Augusta, Bracken County, Kentucky, is an apt name! Some of the graves are on the steep side of the hill – not sure how a funeral procession could easily maneuver a casket to its burial site! The above picture was taken about halfway up the hill to give you a view of the beautiful Ohio River!
Turn around and this is the view! Straight up! Some of the stones have props to keep them upright – but after years of weather they are starting to lean.
The land for the city of Augusta was originally a Revolutionary War grant given to Captain Philip Buckner, who visited the area in 1781. In 1786 he returned with 40 Virginia families. He gave land for the city and it was named for his home – Augusta County, Virginia. Augusta is still small – in the 2010 census there was a population of 1,190.
Catherine Contee Keith, wife of Dr. A. D. Keith, born in Alexandria, Virginia, August 21, 1783, died December 23, 1860, aged 77 years, 4 months and 2 days.
Our mother, Alcey, wife of Joshua Furber, born March 31, 1786, died November 17, 1867.
William Orr, born December 26, 1796, died September 27, 1869.
Susan, wife of William Orr, died November 28, 1852, aged 62 years, 7 months and 20 days.
This is a memorial to the Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization of Union veterans of the war. Small markers are often beside veterans’ graves.
During war the hammer and anvil symbolism deals with the total destruction or capture of an enemy force. In a cemetery the anvil represents martyrdom and the hammer the power of creation.
The Battle of Augusta was fought September 27, 1862, when Colonel Basil Duke led part of General John Hunt Morgan’s raiders to Augusta to take the war across the Ohio River and into the northern states. After two Union gunboats were driven off due to bombardment, Duke expected a quick surrender. But the Home Guard met the Confederates with a hail of gunfire, and eventually hand to hand fighting as the rebels forced their way into homes and businesses. Duke wrote, “The hand-to-hand fighting in the houses . . . was the fiercest and hottest I ever saw. I witnessed in some of them the floors piled with corpses and blood trickling down the stairways.” Although the Home Guard eventually surrendered, the number of Confederate casualties made Duke abandon the idea of taking the war to Northern soil. Therefore the citizens stand at the Battle of Augusta kept the Confederate invasion confined to Kentucky in 1862.
For more information on the battle you might like to read Morgan’s Cavalry and the Home Guard at Augusta, Kentucky.
Alex Case, born July 16, 1813, died July 27, 1894.
Johnson B. Moneyhon, born September 27, 1811, died February 24, 1872.
H. Jane, wife of W. J. Rankins, born December 1, 1831, died July 22, 1878. Charles Henry, son of W. J. and H. J. Rankins, born December 3, 1872, died October 6, 1872.
This was taken from the top of the knoll. It is a very narrow space, perhaps twenty or thirty feet (I’m not great at estimations!), and each side slopes down as you can see on the right. This is only a quick view of Hillside Cemetery – we will return again on another day.