Mystery solved of Confederate soldier in Beaufort National Cemetery

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comApril 3, 2014 

The new tombstone of Pvt. Haywood Treadwell of the 61st NC Volunteers, Co. G at the Beaufort National Cemetery on April 3, 2014. Treadwell was the only Confederate soldier interred in the Beaufort National Cemetery with a tombstone marked as unknown. After 150 years, Treadwell will be now recognized along with other Confederate soldiers on May 9th and 10th.

THEOPHIL SYSLO — Staff photo Buy Photo

The answer to one of Beaufort County's oldest mysteries will be officially unveiled next month, along with a new gravestone for the only unknown Confederate soldier buried in Beaufort National Cemetery.

The soldier is no longer unknown.

Pvt. Haywood Treadwell of North Carolina has received a new marker -- this one with his name on it, according to the Historic Beaufort Foundation.

A ceremony for the public unveiling of the new gravestone will be May 10, part of a two-day symposium recognizing Confederate soldiers buried in the national cemetery.

Treadwell died in a Union Army hospital in Beaufort after being wounded while defending Battery Wagner outside Charleston in August 1863. He was buried for 150 years with a gravestone that read "Unknown Confederate Soldier."

Research on the William Wigg Barnwell House, which served as a Union hospital and was where Treadwell was brought in September 1863, led to Treadwell's identification. The research on the nearly 200-year-old house began in 2008 by Beaufort resident Penelope Holme Parker, who was contacted by the home's owners, Conway and Diane Ivy. While preparing the house's history for the Historic Beaufort Fall Tour of Homes in 2010, Parker discovered that Haywood Treadwell might have been buried anonymously because of a misspelled first name.

Burial records found in a cardboard box in the basement of the cemetery building in 1991 listed a "Heyward Treadwell," who died of a gunshot wound to the right thigh on Sept. 12, 1863. Treadwell was buried in section 53, site 6359 -- the site of the unknown soldier's gravestone, according to the records.

However, there was no record of a "Heyward Treadwell" in the 61st North Carolina Volunteers, so he likely was buried with the gravestone of an unknown, Parker said.

Service records and burial orders indicate Treadwell was born in Sampson County, N.C., worked as a turpentine farmer and was married before he joined the 61st Volunteers. He was a private in G Company, according to Parker's research.

The process to replace Treadwell's marker began in 2010 with help from Jody Henson of the Richard H. Anderson Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It took three years to get the approval of three committees required to place the new gravestone.

Parker said some of Treadwell's descendants in North Carolina and Alabama were also tracked down, including some of his great-great-great grandchildren, and they were surprised to learn of their ancestor. Several relatives will participate in the May 10 ceremony, Parker said.

A symposium at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts on May 9 will feature Parker and Joel Rose, president of the Sampson County Historical Society. The symposium, which starts at 7 p.m., will be chaired by USCB professor emeritus Larry Roland. A dry encampment of Confederate reenactors, a talk on Civil War medical practices and a live band performing Civil War-era music will precede the symposium at 6 p.m. on the arts center's grounds.

On May 10, the Confederate memorial ceremony will start at 10 a.m. at Beaufort National Cemetery. The ceremony will feature an honor guard of reenactors, a cannon salute to Treadwell and the other Confederate soldiers buried there, and the official unveiling of Treadwell's new gravestone.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.

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