James Monroe Yancey, Confederate Soldier

Extracts from

"Tales The Tombstone Tell"
from the Republican Observer
Richland Co., Wisconsin

Written by S. W. Fogo

[Family Info]

Much ado is made over the fact that a Confederate spy, Belle Boyd, is buried in a cemetery at Wisconsin Dells. Each year a Confederate flag waves above the grave along with the Stars and Stripes. Flowers too grace her last resting place on Memorial Day.

No Confederate flag waves in the Richland Center cemetery on Memorial Day but flowers do grace the grave of a Confederate soldier who was laid to rest there in on January 27, 1882. The Confederate soldier was James Yancey and his grave is the first one on the left side of the west driveway at then entrance of the city cemetery. Each Memorial Day the Stars and Stripes wave over his grave and a bouquet of flowers are placed thereon.

"James Yancey," we read upon his tombstone, "was born in Albemarle county, Virginia, March 1, 1825, moved to Braxton county, West Virginia, in 1837; married, to Margaret Murphy April 26, 1863; moved to Richland county, Wisconsin, April 10, 1867, where he died January 25, 1882."

Underneath the above, upon the gravestone, is this: "Death, Thou are but another birth, Freeing the spirit from the clods of earth."  A marker near the monument reads: "Confederate Soldier.". Upon the north side of the monument appears the memorial for Mrs. Yancey which reads as follows: "Margaret Murphy, born in Gilmer county, West Virginia, January 20, 1838, married to James Yancey in 1863; died in Richland Center, Wis., October 11, 1926."

"Oh! for the touch of a vanished hand and a sound of a voice that is still."

We wonder what brought James Yancey and his wife to Richland County so soon after the Civil War when the feeling between the north and south was still intense. Only two years had passed since the closing of the struggle until Mr. and Mrs. Yancey came to this county. According to the monument Mr. Yancey died in early 1882 and his wife passed on in 1926, a period of 44 years later. Besides the larger monument on the lot there are two smaller headstones; one upon which the word "James" appears and upon the other is "Margaret".

We wish that we knew more about the couple, where they lived when they first came to Richland county; what brought them here; had they children? Perhaps some of our readers could supply the information and we would be most thankful for it.

Photo submitted by David Thompson - dthompso@mwt.net

Dear Steve and Staff:

Enjoy your articles on "Tales the Tombstones Tell" and was very interested in the tale of the "Yanceys."

James and Margaret Yancey were friends of my grandmother, Jeminia Stout. When she was a young lady she taught school and boarded with the Yanceys, who lived in what we always called "Schoonover Hollow, (now Fiddier's Green). I think Kelley Cooper lives on the farm now. I have enjoyed so many good times at that home; as a child we lived "just over the hill" from them and my mother often visited there.

Mr. Yancey died very sudden, in fact he arose one morning to start the kitchen fire, on hearing a thud Mrs. Yancey ran to the kitchen where he lay dead.

She lived a widow for a few years, afterwards married Wm. Francis who was Mrs. George Beatty's father.

Aunt Margaret, as we always called her, never had a family, and as to why they came to Wisconsin I am not able to tell. I am not sure that Mrs. Yancey wasn't an acquaintance of my great grandparents as they too came from Gilmer county, West Va. Their names were McNamer, my great grandfather's name was Philip McNamer.

Hope this bit of information will help you a little.

Enjoy the home paper, couldn't be without it though so few one remembers after the years have passed.

Pearl LeMoine Larson,