The old Files Graveyard is located on a hill east of the Mantachie Creek bottomlands near the old Aberdeen and Jacinto Road. The land was first owned by the James Files family during the 1830s and it was James Files (born September 9, 1769), who was buried in the old cemetery on January 29, 1842. This old burial ground contains perhaps a dozen or many more graves, with most being marked only by brick. Pictured above is the David Files pottery monument (son of James Files) and the remains of an old brick crypt. Pictured to the left is the Garland G. Lesley Confederate monument and a small section of the adjacent graves marked only with brick.
One interesting monument in the cemetery is that Confederate monument memorializing Garland G. Lesley (born 1838 in South Carolina). His father, Abel Buren Lesley (born 1805 in South Carolina) brought his family to Itawamba County from Alabama during the late 1850s settling near this old cemetery. His son Garland G. enlisted with Company C (Town Creek Rifles) of the Second Mississippi Infantry. He was enrolled in the company at Verona in western Itawamba County on Saturday, March 1, 1862 by Lieutenant William Marion Pounds (born September 12, 1828 in Baldwin County, Georgia), the brother of Itawamba County planter, Merriman Pounds. Garland Lesley was wounded (right hand with loss of fingers) at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill, Virginia on June 27, 1862 and on May 23, 1864 he received a medical certificate of disability.
The companies that made up the Second Mississippi Infantry were raised in the four counties that made up northeastern Mississippi – Tishomingo, Itawamba, Pontotoc and Tippah.
In the 1860 census Garland is listed as Darling G. Lesley in his father’s household. In the 1870 census he is listed as Garland with his wife Permelia and children Nancy and James. In the 1880 census he is listed with his wife Permelia with children Martha, James, Charlie and Marion. He is not found in the 1900 census.
There are several graves adjacent to the Lesley Confederate monument marked only with brick, and family members say those are graves of seven Lesley children who died of yellow fever, probably during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, when more than 20,000 citizens of the Lower Mississippi Valley lost their lives.