Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Tombstone Tuesday–Found it!

This picture was taken by Janis Hart at Find-A-Grave.

Carollea, my walking buddy, and I have been watching for the Civil War General’s tombstone I read about in The Cleveland American several years ago as we trek around the cemetery. I had an idea which section the grave was in, but we’d wandered through before and we hadn’t found it.

Until yesterday!

At first, the upright tombstone was all we saw. “This guy’s a Colonel.”

Then we noticed something under the dirt. Carollea did a great job of shoving the dirt off the concrete buried there, and we found . . .

Woohoo! It was our General! Not JUST a General, a Brigadier General. (BTW: I accidentally cut off the date of his death–1907 if you’re wondering.

Here’s what one website had to say about him.

Birth: May 25, 1830
Franklin County
Ohio, USA
Death: Sep. 16, 1907
Pawnee County
Oklahoma, USA

Civil War Union Brevet (I think Brevet means it was a temporary field commission-ss) Brigadier General. Prior to the war he was a prosecuting attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Wabash, Indiana.On the morning after Fort Sumter fell to the Confederates, he joined the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and was commissioned a Captain.He took part in the battle of Springfield, Missouri (DIL2 is from Springfield! Talk about a Small Town World!ss)and Pea Ridge, Arkansas,(I’ve been to that battle and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in May of 1863. He distinguished himself in other battles and was promoted Colonel in command of the 130th Regiment Indiana Infantry. On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted Brigadier General and placed in command of seven counties in the western district of North Carolina.(bio by: John “J-Cat” Griffith)

This is Charles.

He could have used a comb, but otherwise, he looks pretty nice, doesn’t he? 🙂 But if you look at his eyes, they look kind of haunted. Makes me wonder what sadness he’d suffered during that horrible war. And what the horrors he saw did to him.

Charles Sherman Parrish is possibly the only Civil War general buried in Oklahoma , according to the information published by Robert Grierson entitled, Here They Lie – Burial Sites of Famous People in Oklahoma, (n.d.).

He is buried in a simple grave in Lot 14, Section 4 of Block 59 at the Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland, Oklahoma. There are apparently no other family members buried at this site.

Charles (Think people called him Chuck? Or maybe Charlie?) had many jobs after the war from the Indiana State Senate to Register in Bancruptcy to Inspector of Customs in New Orleans.

General Parrish went west in 1891 to get away from his old associates and rebuild a legal business. It was stated in newspaper stories that his old habits so controlled him that he never sufficiently established himself to warrant sending back east for his family.

He spent eight to ten years at Perry and Orlando, Oklahoma. He was also in Cloud County, Kansas in 1888 and Republic County, Kansas in 1889.

On November 11, 1903, he was admitted to the Mountain Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers at Jonesboro, Tennessee for three years.

He died in Cleveland, Oklahoma on September 16, 1907.

I wonder if he really didn’t have relatives here in C-Town, as the biographies suggest. I remember a wonderful librarian we had for years when I was a kid.I think Parrish was her name–Sis was the name we knew her by. She took care of our library from the day I got my first library card until I was out of school.

While I was in college, I tried to check out, “Doctors’ Wives,” but Sis wouldn’t let me. “I don’t think your mom would want you to read that book.” 🙂 And she was right!

If I remember right, Sis had a husband who was a really nice postman. (No, that’s not an oxymoron. No jokes about the postal department, please. LOL)

I’m hoping Sis and her husband, whose name it seems like was Walt, were related to Charles. I hope they knew him, loved him, were his family and were with him at his death.

It’s just too sad to think of the man being all alone when he died.   

You can read about Charles at and

Or check him out on Google. He’s pretty interesting.