Visit the Whitewater Cemetery to Pay Respect to Four Civil War Veterans
Looking at the list of veterans buried at Whitewater Cemetery, you'll see the names of five Civil War veterans interred there. In reality, only four Civil War vets are buried there. Why are there five names?
Have you visited the Whitewater Cemetery? This Veterans Day, why not visit the cemetery and pay your respects.
A Cemetery Straight Out of American History
Earlier today, Wednesday, November 10, 2021, I ran into one of the caretakers of the Whitewater Cemetery. A tremendous amount of care and passion goes into maintaining this western Colorado cemetery. It's something right out of American history. Imagine, if you will, a dirt field in the desert hills adorned with headstones. If you've never been there before, trust me, it's just as you would imagine.
Veterans at Colorado's Whitewater Cemetery
There are 13 veterans laid to rest at this cemetery. Four of those are Civil War veterans. Two were Confederate soldiers, and the other two were Union soldiers. According to Sue Chapman with the Whitewater Cemetery Association, all four settled in the Grand Valley in the early 1800s.
Civil War Veterans
The four Civil War soldiers laid to rest at Whitewater Cemetery are:
- Archie Jenkins Dodgion - Confederate Army
- Lewis N. Farmer - Union Army
- Jessie M. Walker - Confederate Army
- Joshua Reason White - Union Army
Family Still in Western Colorado
I spoke today with Sue Chapman, a former director with the cemetery, who still resides in the valley. According to her, she was related to two of the Civil War vets at Whitewater Cemetery. Lewis Farmer was her great-grandfather, while Dodgson was related by marriage.
Why Are There Five Names Listed but Only Four in the Cemetery?
I'm glad you asked. In the photo at the top, you'll see five names listed as having served in the Civil War. Why, then, do I say there are only four Civil War vets in the Whitewater Cemetery? I asked the volunteers the same question.
As it turns out, the fifth veteran on the list, George Lewis Gaylord, was relocated to the Orchard Mesa Cemetery after the marker had been made.
How to Find the Whitewater Cemetery
You've probably driven right past the cemetery a thousand times and didn't even know it. As you're heading down Highway 50 through Whitewater, the cemetery is on the top of the hill on the north side of the highway. An American flag is flying at all times. To get there, take Highway 50 and turn north on Reeder Mesa Road. After a short distance, turn to head east on Whitewater Cemetery Road. You're going to think you've turned on to someone's private driveway. That's alright. Just keep heading down this dirt road until you reach the gate of the cemetery. You won't be able to drive into the cemetery, but you'll find parking right by the gate.