Rowland Cemetery, Benton County Mississippi
Benton Co., Mississippi
Capt. Robert William Smith's Grave
Back in the woods in the northeast quadrant of the
intersection of highway 72 and Pottery Road is an old abandoned cemetery.
No one has been buried here since 1919 and until recently even people living
near it did not know its official name. It is carpeted with periwinkle and
said to be beautiful when in bloom. The cemetery is not easy to find and there
is no road leading to it.
This land was once a part of about 1000 acres owned by Robert William
Smith, a wealthy man from Virginia who owned 67 slaves at the time of the
1860 census. The area was known as Smith's Grove. Robert's house was
once about a half a mile north of the cemetery. When the Civil War began,
Robert's son, John Waverly was attending Virginia University. He enlisted
in Co. E 13th Tenn. Infantry and was wounded in the right shoulder at Richmond, KY 30 Aug. 1862. He came home and
after recovering for six months, joined Forrest's Cavalry, becoming Lt. Col.
of the 18th Mississippi Cavalry. Sons Richard Edward and Marion Skipwith
also enlisted at the beginning of the war and were in the 18th Mississippi
Cavalry as well. Robert did not immediately join himself. During the winter
of 1862 and 1863 some Yankee looters came to his house demanding food. Robert
told them he had given them all he had and that they should return to camp.
They tried to force their way into the house and in the ensuing scuffle,
Robert killed at least one of them. Robert immediately sent his wife and
small children to neighbor's and went to join up with his son's unit. That
night the Yankees returned and burned his house. Robert was made Captain
of Co. D of the 18th Mississippi Cavalry. His son Richard was 1st Lt. and
son Marion a private in his company. Robert was killed in a battle on Yellow
Rabbit Creek just south of Ashland and near what is now the border of Benton
and Tippah County 1 May 1863.
A part of the cemetery is enclosed with a wire fence and contains all
of the Rowlands buried there. William
T. Roland, son of Charles, served in Co. D of the 18th Mississippi
Cavalry and is buried in the Rowland section of the cemetery. Another son,
Joseph E. Rowland was also in Co. D but is not buried in this cemetery.
There was a Smith family reunion held in 1998 and they placed a government
marker on Robert's grave. After the war R.E and M.S and R.G. moved west.
They were the first settlers of what is now Sterling CO. Later M.S returned
to Grand Junction TN. Over the years the Smith had lost contact with each
other and were reunited through genealogy. They were able to meet at the family
reunion. Another reunion is planned for Labor Day 2003 at which they will
discuss a book on the Smith family.
This land was recently purchased by Sammy Bell ( BELSAM@aol.com ) of Ashland.
Sammy contacted me and told me of the cemetery and said he would like to know
more about the people buried on his land. I was able to visit the cemetery
while on vacation in April 2003 and took two pictures before the batteries
in my camera ran down.
Marker placed on the grave of Capt. Robert W. Smith at
a Smith Family Reunion in 1998
Andrews, Benjamin, 08/15/1882, 08/22/1882, (family stone)
Andrews, Dollie Rowland, 08/29/1873, 08/25/1907, Gone home to heaven where there is no more sorrow (family stone)
Andrews, Joseph, 08/15/1882, 08/15/1882, Come to me saith the Lord for such is the kingdom of heaven (family stone)
Fite, Dau, , 10/05/1875, dau of W.R. & Letitia (Bogard) Rosebuds are sweet thought they never bloom this one lies beneath the tomb
Fite, Son, 01/17/1877, 04/02/1877, age 2 mos 20 days infant son of W.R. & Letitia (Bogard) Our darling one hath gone before us to greet us on the blissful Shore
Hunter, Morton F., 06/03/1879, 08/23/1879, Infant of L. J(erome) & L(illian) V. (Smith) Hunter 
Jackson, Franklin E., 02/25/1852, 08/23/1853, son of G.B. & M.F. aged 1 yr 5 mos 21 days
Jackson, George B., 10/19/1823, 12/17/1871
Jackson, Margarette, 02/22/1823, 02/09/1855, To the memory of... She is not dead but sleeping
Mixon, Kirk Owen, , 10/16/1854, son of Wm. & Sarah H. 2 yrs 7 mos 23 days
Rowland, Charles, 01/14/1814, 12/25/1862, To wife and children I must leave you leave yes leave you all alone but my blested Saviour calls me to a heavenly home calls me
Rowland, Charles J.,11/26/1870,09/10/1877, Rowland family stone
Rowland, Charles W., 07/26/1846, 03/01/1877, Rowland family stone
Rowland, Edgar L., 12/24/1874, 09/16/1877, Rowland family stone
Rowland, L. B., 03/26/1880, 10/29/1901, At home
Rowland, L. H., 07/05/1841, 03/08/1919, at rest
Rowland, Lucy M., 03/18/1876,08/05/1880, Rowland family stone
Rowland, Nancy R., 06/15/1872,10/09/1877, Rowland family stone
Rowland, Sally M.R. Witten, 02/09/1844, 06/25/1907, Rowland family stone
Rowland, W. A., 03/24/1865, 03/01/1888, Gone home
Rowland, W. T., 12/17/1837, 02/20/1911, Death has lost its sting and the grave has victory
Smith, Edward, , 11/13/1889, 1 yr 5 mo 17 days sons of J.E. & Ida (marker with infant) 
Smith, Infant dau., 01/01/1878, age 10 days infant dau. of J(ohn) W(averly) & T. E(lizabeth) Smith 
Smith, Infant dau, 12/17/1892, 01/08/1893, dau. of J.E. & Ida
Smith, Infant sons, 08/28/1890, 08/28/1890, sons of J.E. & Ida (marker with Edward)
Smith, Robert W., 06/10/1817, 05/01/1863, Capt. 18 Miss. Cav. Confederate States Army
 Lillian V. Smith was the daughter of Robert W. and Dorothy
Ann Smith. She married Rev. Jerome L. Hunter Nov 13, 1873 in Benton
Co. Lillian and Jerome are buried in Grand Junction Cemetery, TN.
 John Waverly was the son of Robert and Dorothy and is buried
in Grand Junction Cemetery, TN.
 Ida Smith, daughter of Robert and Dorothy married J.E. Smith
Dec 14, 1873 in Benton Co. MS., buried Grand Junction Cemetery, TN.
1860 Tippah Co. MS census of the Robert Smith family:
1308 Robert Smith 43 M Farm 64,000/95,000 Va.
D(orothy) A(nn) 40 F Va.
R(ichard) E(dward) 20 M Va.
Emma 18 F Tenn.
J(ohn) W(averly) 18 M Tenn.
M(arion) S(kipwith) 16 M Tenn.
Robert G(raves) 12 M Tenn.
L(illian) V. 8 F Tenn.
Ida 5 F Tenn.
Members of the Smith family buried in Grand Junction
Smith, Col. J.W. 5 May 1842-2 Dec 1909
Smith, Elizabeth T. 11 Nov 1846-22 Jul 1911 (w/o Col. J.W.)
Smith, Dorothy Ann 23 Nov 1818-17 May 1903 w/o Capt. Robert W. Smith
Smith, Ida "Muddie" 9 Apr 1857-22 Mar 1948 w/o James E. Smith
Smith, Marion S. 24 Feb 1844-7 Jul 1910 h/o Martha Perkins Smith
Smith, Martha Perkins 16 May 1847-17 Jun 1922 d/o R.C. & M.O. Perkins w/o Marion S. Smith
Hunter, Lillian Smith 17 Feb 1852-8 Aug 1927 w/o Rev. Jerome L. Hunter
Hunter, Rev. Jerome L. 14 May 1851-7 Mar 1922 born VA h/o Lillian Smith Hunter
1880 Census of the John Waverly Smith Family, Hardeman
Name Relationship Marital Sex Race Age Born Occupation Father Mother
Status Born Born
J. W. SMITH Self M M W 38 VA Farming VA VA
T. E. Wife M F W 34 TN Keeping House NC TN
Irene Dau S F W 12 TN At Home VA TN
Walter Son S M W 10 MS At Home VA TN
Gaither Son S M W 9 MS At Home VA TN
Ethel Dau S F W 7 MS At Home VA TN
Edward Son S M W 5 MS At Home VA TN
Florance Dau S F W 4 MS At Home VA TN
Dau S F W 4 MS At Home VA TN
Pictures of the Smith Family
My thanks to Charlotte Holloway who allowed me to use her Grand
Junction Cemetery informtion. You can find other Hardeman County Cemeteries
in the archives at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/tn/hardeman/cemeteries/