"HERE LIES CAPTAIN TREGO"
By: Barbara Peacock Minton, Acworth, Georgia
Some time ago while enjoying a trip through Trego County/WaKeeney, Kansas History by way of 100 Anniversary Edition of the Western Kansas World, I came across an article of particular interest. The article, "History of Trego County 1879-1971 (page 10C of the Anniversary Edition) tells how Trego County got its name.
The County was named in honor of Edgar Poe Trego. He was a native of Pennsylvania & enlisted in Illinois in 1861. He was a Captain of Company H., Which was attached to the 8th Kansas Voluntary Infantry. Captain Trego was killed on September 19, 1863, in the battle of Chickamauga. He was struck by a Confederate sharpshooter while stooping over a wounded soldier which he was removing from the battlefield. While gallantly trying to help some of the wounded boys he was hit & killed. He was buried at Chickamuga Park in Tennessee.
This was of interest to me because I was born & reared in Trego County & also because I have lived in North Georgia about 40 years. My family had visited The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park some years ago. After reading the article, we first went to Chickamuga & Chattanooga National Military Park thinking since that was the battlefield the graves would be there.
There are a number of memorials located there; but no graves. Inquires lead us to the fact that most of the Civil War Union Troops had been buried in the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee & the Confederate Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. The number of graves alone was overwhelming. most with only the small roundup, white markers. Inquiries at the cemetery's office were not very encouraging. They informed us that a large number (about 5,000) of the graves moved from Chickamauga Battlefield were unknown dead.
However, they told us there was a grave locator that might be of help.
The locator was about the size of two large Sears catalogs & was rather intimidating. It was well organized & when we went through it, we found a listing for Captain Edgar P. Trego. Since that was so similar to Captain Trego, we decided to check it out. It was indeed Captain Trego's grave!!!
It was located beneath a huge oak tree. Captain Trego's grave was on one side of this tree & on the other side was just one other grave. It was of Captain John L. Graham, Company D., 8th Kansas Infantry. This was Ironical to me – those being the only two graves there under the huge Oak tree– because of being a native Kansan, I have been teased about the lack of trees in Kansas as compared to other areas (namely the South)! We were excited to find Captain Trego's grave. These pictures are some of those we took. It was getting late in the day & daylight was fading. We want to share them with any of "ya'll" that might be interested. If you are in the area & want to look up Captain Trego, he is in the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, off Holtzclaw Street; in Section B, Grave 1028. COME ON DOWN!!
Note: The Graham County Historical was contacted by the Hill City Times to find out if the grave on the other side of the tree was the Graham that Graham County was named after. In 1880 Graham County was indeed named for Captain John L. Graham who was killed in action at Chickamauga, Georgia September 19, 1863. According to their records Graham, Norton, Trego, Rooks & Sheridan counties were all named for Civil War soldiers, Presumably on the whim of Member of the County Legislature.