How C. R. APPERSON Post Got It's Name

by Col. William Lightfoot VISSCHER

The beginning goes back to the days of the war. In the Kentucky regiment to which I belonged was a boy one year younger than myself, who was my dearest friend. He was the quartermaster-sergeant, and I being on the colonel's non-commissioned staff, we were thus thrown together in camp. On this march my place was near the colonel. He was on horseback in charge of the regimental train. I loved him like Jonathan did David, and he loved me like David did Jonathan. We were nicknamed in the brigade "The Siamese Twins."

Whenever a battle was imminet he would leave his horse, buckle on a cartridge box, and with musket and bayonet would go into the fight. He was as brave as an old-time knight, as handsome as Apollo, and as patriotic as Putnam.

On the morning of the battle of Resacca we sat together on a fallen tree, taking our breakfast of boiled bacon, hardtack and coffee, drinking from the same cup. He was accoutred for the fight, and I pead with him not to go into it, arguing that men who had no special business in such places were more frequently struck than others - a belief that largely obtained in the army. "I want to go through one more big fight like Chicamauga," he said, "then I will be content."

"But suppose you should get killed in this?" He always accompanied the color squad, and his reply was: "If I am killed I will die on the dancing shadow of my country's flag."

The charge began shortly afterward, across a young wheat field and a brook over stony ground and two lines of the enemy's rifle-pits. There on a slight activity the regiment lay, every man on his face, under a terrific hail of shot and shell. Every man who raised up was struck. We had a saying in the regiment that had been obtained at Shiloh. It was a cry of "Where's the landing!" In that awful storm of missiles my comrade raised upon his knees and with a laugh called out, "Where's the landing!" A minnie ball pierced his heart and he died with a laugh on his lips, never knowing what had hurt him. After the battle two other comrades and myself secured his body, slept by it that night and buried it next day with the assistance of a chaplain. After the war, one of these men and myself went to Resacca field, brought away the bones of the gallant fellow, and they now lie in Cave Hill cemetery at Louisville, and a marble shaft marks the spot where repose the remains of that tenement which once held the gallant soul of Coleman Rogers Apperson.

"When the Grand Army post was organized at Fairhaven, the old boys met one evening to select a name for the post. It is a Grand Army law that posts shall be named for some dead hero of the war. The name of this and that general was mentioned and advocated. I told the story of Colie Apperson, and in its relation perhaps grew somewhat eloquent - for me. There were tears in the eyes of the old heroes, and with one acclaim it was agreed that the post should be named Coleman R. Apperson. He was 18 when he was killed, and he was son of an ex-member of Congress from Kentucky and brother to the then judge of the Ninth judicial circuit, who also very narrowly escaped being colonel of our regiment.

"I do not think that any other member of our regiment ever set foot on Washington soil. From an enlistment roll during the war of 1,600 we mustered out 197. There are perhaps not more than 50 out of that command alive today. Therefore the name of Colie Apperson had not, probably, ever been mentioned before in this state.

"When I was taken to a room at the Soldiers' home last Sunday night and was about to retire, judge my astonishment when turning down the covering of the bed I found it marked 'C. R. Apperson.' It had been sent to the Custer room in that institution by C. R. Apperson Corps, of Fairhaven, and coincidently I was assigned to that room. In a little talk to the inmates the next day I told them this story and from some cause many eyes were wet.

From The Fairhaven Herald, June 10, 1892; copied by Susan Nahas

Service Record - 24th Kentucky Infantry Roster: Coleman R. Apperson, Corpl. Enrolled 24 Oct 1861; Mustered in 31 Dec 1861, Lexington, KY for 3 years; Transf. to Non-Commiss. Staff as Qtr Mster Serg. Feb. 1, 1862. Killed on 14 May 1864 in Resaca, GA. Battle at Resacca, GA took place May 14-15, 1864.
Family - 1850 and 1860 census of Montgomery County, KY shows Coleman was the son of Richard Apperson Sr., a lawyer, and wife Harriet; age 4 in 1850 and age 14 in 1860.

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