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Pleasant Grove Cemetery and Confederate Monument

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Bashi-Bazouks and Rebels too: Action at Camden Point, July 13, 1864.

Confederate Cemetery by Larry White

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Camden Point Confederate Monument

In June 2000, the Major Thomas J. Key Camp began a long-term project to care for the graves of six Confederate soldiers buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery. The soldiers (Lieutenant Alamarine Hardin and Privates, Richard Alvis (Olvis), Jasper Clements, Robert McCormick, Jesse Myles, and Andrew Smith) were killed during the July 13, 1864 battle at Camden Point, Missouri or during its aftermath. Lt. Hardin and Pvt. Alvis (Olvis) were killed on the firing line during the battle. The others were wounded during the battle and executed at the scene by Union troops, or surrendered and executed soon afterward. The town of Camden Point was burned by Union soldiers after the battle.

In 1871, ex-Confederate soldiers from Platte County, led by Dr. E. McDowell Coffey, raised funds for a monument to be placed in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery. That monument would honor those six soldiers as well as all the Confederates that fell during that battle. When the monument [Close-up of inscription] was dedicated on November 1, 1871, the six soldiers, who had been buried where they fell, were recovered and laid to rest adjacent to the monument. A contemporary report stated that they were buried with three on either side of the monument and their heads to the monument. Thirty Confederate veterans and almost 100 other people attended the ceremony. The monument itself is one of the oldest Confederate monuments west of the Mississippi River. [There are at least two older Confederate monuments: one older Confederate monument in Chowen Cemetery (Wayne County, Missouri) erected in 1870 and another in Lone Jack, Missouri.]

Over the years, interest in the cemetery waned. The cemetery was owned by a small church adjacent to it but the church burned down in the early part of the 20th century and was subsequently relocated to a site within the limits of Camden Point. The last burial there took place in 1914. Mother Nature slowly took possession of the cemetery obliterating the 149 burials in the cemetery until June 2000. That is when the Key Camp, with help from the Brigadier General William Steele Camp #1857 in Leavenworth, took over caring for the soldier's graves and the monument.

Today over half of the two-acre cemetery has been reclaimed, the monument has been repaired and restored, headstones have been erected for the soldiers, and the Confederate Missouri Battle Flag flies over the graves on a twenty-foot flag pole. Every two weeks a crew goes to the cemetery to mow, trim and care for the site. The cemetery is a piece of Missouri history that must be preserved and protected. The Major Thomas J. Key Camp is proud to play the leading role in the preservation effort and in honoring six Confederate soldiers who gave their lives for a cause in which they believed. Deo Vindice. UPDATE: In 2011, the church cemetery has been cleared, and is currently being mowed and maintained, by the owners. Local SCV camps still supply flags for the Confederate monument.

The "Key" camp of the Kansas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Exemplars to a Future Age