“Monument to Healing: Two Soldiers and the Good Death, 1862, 1914”
Private James Coble, a Confederate soldier, died alone on a dark, cold night during a skirmish with Union troops. He fell beside a railroad trestle in South Madison County, near Jackson, Tennessee, on Dec. 19, 1862 during the Civil War.
With this military action long forgotten, in March 1914, a Union captain named David Harts Sr., formerly of the 106th Illinois Infantry, wrote a letter on his deathbed to The Jackson Sun expressing hope that someone in Jackson would search for the hastily buried soldier’s body. The captain hoped to comfort the soldier’s family and assure them that the young husband and father had died the “Good Death,” an honorable death in war. Harts believed in Christian redemption and hoped for reconciliation between North and South.
Because of this letter, Private Coble’s grave was found, and James A. Coble, his son and mayor of Union City, Tenn., erected a monument in the field where his father’s remains were located.
In 2014, author Charles Cox, M.D., descendant of Private James Coble, moved the monument to Salem Cemetery in Madison County on the Civil War Trail where his sacrifice is honored.
Dr. Cox has created a trust so that proceeds from “Monument to Healing,” will go to historic preservation.
The book has been nominated for an Independent Book Publishers Association history award.
Great Grandmother’s Inspiration:
By Dr. Charles Cox
I grew up in Union City, Tennessee, across the street from my great-grandmother, Lucy Whiteside Coble, the widow of J. A. Coble. Lucy Coble had also lost her father, Captain Samuel A. Whiteside, Forty-Eighth Tennessee Infantry, and her father-in-law, Private James Coble, during “The War Between the States.”
I was told the story of Private Coble many times.
Prior to 1914, the Coble family did not know the circumstances of Coble’s death or where he was buried.
When I began the journey years ago to write the story of my ancestor’s death in a little known Civil War skirmish south of Jackson, Tennessee, little did I know what roads of history I would travel or what the ultimate resolution — reconciliation — would be.
Basic Book Info:
Contributor: Spurgeon King, Ph.D.
Editor: Jacque Hillman
Hardcover/Softcover: 120 pages
Publisher: The HillHelen Group LLC
Books: From the author. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org