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Kentucky Military Monument

Located in Section K, State Cemetery, Frankfort, Kentucky.

In 1847, the bodies of 28 Kentuckians who fell in the War with Mexico were recovered from their battlefield graves and carried home. On either July 20 or 27, 1847 they were laid to rest in the state cemetery during ceremonies attended by upwards of 20,000 people. The principal orator of the day was John C. Breckinridge, who later that same year was elected colonel of a regiment of Kentucky volunteers. Among those honored were Col. W. R. McKee, Lt. Col. Henry Clay, Jr., and Capt. W. T. Willis, of the 2nd Kentucky Volunteers. There is some disagreement whether Captain Theodore O'Hara, himself a Mexican War veteran, read "Bivouac of the Dead," a poem he allegedly composed especially for the ceremony. (A contradictory report places O'Hara in Mexico at the time of the ceremony.)

It has been reported that a second burial ceremony took place on September 16, 1847 and that altogether, there are 42 Mexican War dead interred at this site.

The Kentucky Military Monument was authorized by the state legislature in 1848 and erected in 1850 to honor the memory of Kentucky soldiers, both officers and enlisted men, who fell at the Battle of Buena Vista, February 22, 1847. It also honors Kentuckians who died in the War of 1812 and Indian wars.

Capt. Phillip N. Barbour of the 3rd Infantry, a Kentuckian who was killed Sept. 21, 1846 at the Battle of Monterey, Mexico, is also buried in this section of the cemetery.

Roster of Mexican War Dead Interred at Frankfort
Names in bold font are those for whom rank and military unit has been identified.*

  1. Capt. Phillip N. Barbour,
    3rd Infantry, USA
  2. Pvt. L. B. Samuel Bartlett,
    Co. B, 2d KY Vols.
  3. Cpl. William W. Bayless,
    Co. K, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  4. Oliver H. P. Beard
  5. Pvt. William Blackwell,
    Co. B, 2d KY Vols.
  6. Pvt. Enoch Burton or Bruton,
    Co. I, 2d KY Vols.
  7. George N. Cardwell
  8. Pvt. Henry Carty,
    Co. K, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  9. Lt. Col. Henry Clay, Jr.,
    Field & Staff, 2d KY Vols.
  10. Tilford McH. Dozier
  11. Cpl. Henry Edward or Edwards,
    Co. I, 2d KY Vols.
  12. Pvt. John F. Ellingwood,
    Co. C, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  13. Ezekiel H. Field
  14. Cary H. Fry
  15. Cyrenius W. Gilmore
  16. Pvt. Abram Goodpaster,
    Co. i, 2d KY Vols.
  17. Pvt. W. C. or W. T. Green,
    Co. G, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  18. Ambrose W. Hampton
  19. Adjt. Thomas T. Hawkins,
    Field & Staff, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  20. Pvt. Clement Jones,
    Co. K, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  21. Pvt. Robert Latta,
    Co. C, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  1. William H. Maxey
  2. Col. William R. McKee,
    Field & Staff, 2d KY Vols.
  3. Pvt. Alexander G. Morgan,
    Co. K, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
    (reburied in Lexington Cemetery)
  4. Capt. James W. Moss,
    Co. A, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  5. Theodore O'Hara
  6. Joseph W. Powell (no marker)
  7. Ezra F. Price
  8. Pvt. N. or Cincinnattus Ramey,
    Co. K, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  9. Pvt. John Sanders,
    Co. C, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  10. John A. Scott
  11. James Seston
  12. John Spratt
  13. Pvt. C. B. Thompson,
    Co. E, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  14. Pvt. Yves J. Thoreau,
    Co. I, 2d KY Vols.
  15. Pvt. William Thwaits
    Co. K, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  16. Pvt. Harvey Trotter,
    Co. F, 2d KY Vols.
  17. Pvt. Major Updike,
    Co. B, 2d KY Vols.
  18. Adjt. Edward M. Vaughn
    Field & Staff, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  19. Pvt. Thomas Weigart,
    Co. I, 1st KY Mtd. Vols.
  20. Capt. William T. Willis,
    Field & Staff, 2d KY Vols.
  21. 4th Sgt. Henry Wolf,
    Co. B, 2d KY Vols.
*Rank and military unit information from: Kentucky Adjutant General. Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky: Mexican War Veterans (Frankfort, Kentucky: Capitol Office, John D. Woods, Public Printer and Binder, 1889).NOT INDEXED

(Thanks to Roberta Peak Padgett, wife of DMWV member John C. Padgett, for providing both the photograph and information. Thanks also to John M. Trowbridge, Manager of Kentucky's Military Museum, for additional information and roster of soldiers.)


If you know of a Mexican War monument or memorial that honors a particular veteran or group of veterans (U.S. or Mexican), please send details, along with a color photograph if possible, to:

DMWV National Office
P.O. Box 461941
Garland, TX 75046-1941


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