VIENNA, Va ., December 31, 2013 — The former Confederate soldier asked only one thing as death grew closer in a Federal prison in Louisville, Kentucky two years after the War had ended. The simple request, “bury me with my people” was apparently ignored by those in charge of the remains, who surely knew where “home” was.
No common soldier, the requester was ultimately determined to be one Elizabeth Temms, the wife of George W. Temms, a soldier from
Ice House Cell
Since the War ended in 1865, there is no explanation of why she was still imprisoned two years later.
Elizabeth Temms was bitter in her total hatred of the Northerners; she had left at home several small children who she would never see again. She was with the troops for some time before her gender was discovered and after her death, she was simply buried in the large Confederate section in the beautifully maintained
It was said that her grave was always nicely kept and that a number of unknown individuals saw to it that fresh flowers always decorated the grave.
Husband did survive
Did she wish to be returned to the red clay soil of her native Georgia? Or was she intending to be buried among the soldiers with whom she had served? Apparently it was more expedient to use the
Later on May 26, 1889, a Dr. H.L. Flake wrote the paper with this information:
“While attending the decoration to-day of the Confederate graves in Cave Hill Cemetery, I found among the number of Confederate soldiers buried there one Elizabeth Temms, who masked herself, and fought under the Confederate flag, and died here Oct. 2st 1867, and the inscription on the stone was that she was born in Calhoun, Ga., died at the age of 28 years, and her last words were, “Bury me with my people.”
“These few lines may be a relief to some of her dear relatives,
if you will be so kind as to make inquiry, or have same published in some of your Georgia papers.
And if any further particulars are required, write me, and I will give them with pleasure.”
The letter had its desired effect and several weeks later, her husband, then living in
The old tombstone has barely withstood the ravages of time and acid rain and is basically illegible. A group under the auspices of the Cave Hill Heritage Foundation has undertaken to raise sufficient funds to replace the old marker with a new one containing the original request, and her name.
Money needed to complete marble marker
Since she was not an actual Confederate soldier, the proscribed Veterans Administration marble marker with its Confederate apex on top was not provided free of charge. Instead the group was charged $500.00, and still lacks about $200.00 to get it completed.
Michael Higgs, Director of the Cave Hill Heritage Fund, he stated he was quite surprised that the small amount had not been raised, saying that “as soon as we get the complete amount, it will be replaced; that’s all we are waiting for.”
Almost all of the 218 markers in the Confederate Section have suffered the same fate due to age and condition. It is surprising that either the United Daughters of the Confederacy or the Sons of Confederate Veterans –- both with strong groups in the area – have not undertaken this renovation of markers.
Perhaps being apprised of the replacement of Mrs. Temms’ marker, some good souls will step forward and assist in the replacement of the others, as well as providing the small amount necessary to complete the Temms contract.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the renovation should direct inquiries to Mr. Higgs, Cave Hill Heritage Fund,
Elizabeth Temms should certainly be recognized for her contribution and sacrifice to the Confederate cause, even though she was not buried with the specific people she wished, but instead with Kentuckians who also paid the ultimate price.
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