Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lieut. Ezekiel P. Gardner Monument in Bourland Cemetery

Ezekiel P. Gardner was born March 28, 1841 in Georgia, the son of Ezekiel (born 1797 in North Carolina) and Mary (born 1800 in Georgia) Gardner. The Gardner family came to Itawamba County from Georgia during the early 1850’s settling in the Van Buren area where the family operated a plantation next to the James Spears Bourland plantation south of Van Buren. Listed with Ezekiel and Mary Gardner in the 1860 Itawamba County Federal census are the following children (all born in Georgia): Mary B.(age 39, married James Spears Bourland on April 13, 1864 after the death of his wife), Samuel W. (age 26, physician), Jane M. (age 22, married Balus Bourland December 19, 1862), Thomas M.(age 21), Ezekiel P. (age 19) and Caroline (age 17, married John B. Newton on April 4, 1866).

During the Civil War, Ezekiel P. Gardner enlisted with the Confederate army and served with companies G and B in the 10th Mississippi Regiment.

The 10th Infantry Regiment completed its organization in April, 1861, at Jackson, Mississippi. Its members were recruited in the counties of Adams, Claiborne, Lowndes, Itawamba, Warren, Marshall, Madison, and Yazoo. After serving in Florida and fighting at Shiloh, it saw action in Kentucky. Later the unit was assigned to General J.P. Anderson's, Tucker's, and Sharp's Brigade, Army of Tennessee. It took an active part in the campaigns of the army from Murfreesboro to Atlanta, was with Hood in Tennessee, and ended the war in North Carolina. This regiment took 360 men to Shiloh and lost 13 killed and 95 wounded at Munfordville and 8 killed, 70 wounded, and 6 missing at Murfreesboro. For a time it was consolidated with the 44th Regiment and in December, 1863, totaled 476 men and 308 arms. Few surrendered on April 26, 1865. The field officers were Colonels James Barr, Jr., Seaborne M. Phillips, Robert A. Smith, and James M. Walker; Lieutenant Colonels J.G. Bullard, Joseph R. Davis, and George B. Myers; and Majors James M. Dotson and Edward H. Gregory.1

Ezekiel P. Gardner died during Civil War service on February 23, 1863 and was buried in the Bourland graveyard not far from the Gardner plantation.

The Ezekiel P. Gardner Monument reads:

Sacred to the Memory of
Son of Ezekiel & Mary
Who Departed This Life
Feb. 23, 1863
Aged 21 yrs., 10 mos. & 26 ds.
Dear Brother
Thou art gone to the grave
but we will not deplore thee
Though sorrows and darkness
encompass the tomb.
The Savior has passed through
its portals before thee.
And the lamp of his love
is thy guide through the gloom.

1The National Park Service, "Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System" (December 6, 2008).

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