James Craig Trampled Under Foot
GOOD NEWS: As reported in the comment below by Gary Tunget, the Findagrave.com images that formed the basis for this post were are inaccurate. "The Muhlenburg County History group visited the Craig Cemetery This afternoon March 27th with the property owners and two members of the SAR the photo above is not the Craig Cemetery Capt. Craig's grave stone is still standing. and not trampled by cattle . The group is going to clean the cemetery and fence the property and afterwards the Local DAR and SAR will host a Patriot Grave marking ceremony." Apologies are due, particularly to the property owner, for repeating bad information. The Findagrave.com page appears to have been corrected. --Gabe Neville
James Craig deserves better. He was a Continental officer who signed on early for the Revolutionary cause and took part in its first major victory. Despite this important service to his country his grave site is now a shambles.
Even before there were any Virginia Continental regiments, Craig signed on to help lead one of the Old Dominion’s independent frontier companies. He was a lieutenant under Capt. William Russell in a company that ranged the southwest Virginia frontier from 1775 to 1776. In 1776 he joined Capt. James Knox in forming a Fincastle County company assigned to the 8th Virginia Regiment. After a year serving in the south, he and Knox were selected to lead a company in Daniel Morgan’s elite rifle battalion. With Morgan and Knox, he played a key role in the defeat of Gen. John Burgoyne at Saratoga—the first major American victory and the event that persuaded the French to openly support the cause.
After the war Craig settled in Kentucky like thousands of other veterans. He was appointed by the Commonwealth to be one of the first justices of Muhlenberg County, when it was created in 1799. The county, of course, was named in honor of Peter Muhlenberg, under whom Craig had served in the war.
Though never famous on the national stage, Craig led a consequential and locally important life. He died in 1816 at the age of 81 after marrying twice and having many children. He is buried in Craig Cemetery in Rosewood, a rural Muhlenberg County community about forty miles west of Bowling Green. According to a Find-a-Grave page maintained by Liz Gossett, Craig’s headstone is in “very bad shape.” The featured image of it appears to be an old one taken from a newspaper. Three pictures of the Cemetery show a progressive decline. The first image, said to be from the late 19th century, shows a tidy, well-kept site. The second, from 2004, shows fallen headstones interspersed with clumps of weeds. A third photo (the first one shown above) shows cattle roaming among the fallen markers, the dirt churned up by their hooves.
Ms. Gossett indicates that the cemetery was maintained by descendant Luther Craig until his death in 1960 and has since been abandoned. Someone—the DAR, the SAR, the property owner, or descendants—should restore this cemetery and see to it that James Craig and those buried around him can rest with the dignity they deserve.
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8/29/2021 08:51:45 am
I have forwarded your (sad) post to SAR brother Dr. Brad Rankin of McCracken County SAR Chapter (Paducah, Ky) and asked that he also forward to Geoff Baggett (commander of Stephen Trigg SAR chapter)...Muhelenberg co is only 2 hours to our east...one from Trigg county...perhaps between those two chapters....I'd also suggest contacting the SAR headquarters in Louisville for shout out to western Ky membership for assistance.....just an idea, Dr. Ken Carstens, SAR Membership No. 213046; hope these ideas might help ? kc
8/29/2021 08:55:08 am
Thanks for the action and the suggestion, Ken. One caveat--it is possible that someone has taken action since the Find-a-Grave page was last updated, but I doubt it. Grateful for your interest.
8/29/2021 09:48:04 am
I wished I lived closer. I think I would have to take an active participation in reclaiming this sacred ground and at least implore the land owner to let me fence off this small portion of pasture. To me this is indicative of how we have become as a society and it is very sad. Even if there is no historical significance to it, one's final resting place should be kept and maintained out of respect.
8/29/2021 10:02:28 am
There are some state programs that provide excellent guidelines for preservation and recognition which in turn can lead to protections.
3/14/2022 09:59:27 pm
What is the status of the gravesite today (3/14/2022)?
3/15/2022 12:15:50 am
When this was first posted last year, some people said they knew where it was but there were no reports that anything was done. An update would be welcome.
3/27/2022 06:58:35 pm
The Muhlenburg County History group visited the Craig Cemetery This afternoon March 27th with the property owners and two members of the SAR the photo above is not the Craig Cemetery Capt. Craig's grave stone is still standing. and not trampled by cattle . The group is going to clean the cemetery and fence the property and afterwards the Local DAR and SAR will host a Patriot Grave marking ceremony
Elizabeth Gail Meminger. (Gail)
3/25/2022 10:42:12 pm
I have found my roots in thisCraig family that I've always loved. I was raised by my grandmother Delia Elder Craig and my grandfather Seigel Craig of Galesgurg., Illinios. They moved from caneyville Kentucky. With grandpa's 2daughters and one son and grandmas two son.they where married by Rev. James Craig my Great Grandfather. This winter I found that in the Lexington Ky. The County set of Grayson Co. Ky. They had a registered marriage licenses where I discovered the names of both of their pariants ( all four) names. Please if it is possible to get this graveyard restored it would be a gift from God. Myself and my husband are in our 70s and we have been handicapped for about ten years. We have very little money. I can only hope that we can get our way to Capt. James Craig's grave site as well as my ancesters in Caneyville. Ky. Please do what you are capable of doing to save this historical place for all future generations to see and appreciate as much as I will. One of my ancestral graveyards, the Hayes Graveyard also has been badly neglected in Caneyville. There is no manager at present to over look this. I'm about to send in my 23 and me to confirm all of this. If my dreams come true, I may also be a decendent of Pocahonas as well. I hope the next time you hear of me
Alvin David Craigg
8/13/2022 03:26:28 pm
Can anyone tell me exactly where the cemetery is. I think James Craig is my great, great, great, great grandfather, and I would like to visit.
8/13/2022 06:27:40 pm
Hello—I took the above picture with the cattle and posted to Find A Grave, but that picture is *NOT* where Capt. James is buried. At the time, Find a Grave listed multiple Craig cemeteries. The one I photographed was across from a general store (Rust’s store? I think?) on Hwy 181.
Alvin David Craigg
8/13/2022 06:48:59 pm
Well Jon, If my research is correct, we are related.
8/13/2022 07:30:12 pm
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is researching the history of the Revolutionary War's 8th Virginia Regiment. Its ten companies formed on the frontier, from the Cumberland Gap to Pittsburgh.
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