Lt. Robert B. Hendricks, Henry County native, fought for the 46th/55th TN Infantry, mortally wounded at Franklin

Lt. Robert B. Hendricks, a Henry County native, fought for the 46th/55th TN Infantry. Originally from Henry County, TN, Hendricks enlisted as a private in Company K, 46th TN at Paris, TN in November 1861.

He was captured at Island No. 10 in 1862 and he spent months in prison at Camp Chase and Johnson’s Island before he was exchanged. Later when his old regiment was re-organized he became a lieutenant in his old company.

When the 46th was sent to Port Hudson in 1863 it merged with the 55th TN. These two regiments – 46th/55th – served together the rest of the war.

Having barely escaped at Ezra Church (Georgia), Hendricks fought at Franklin (November 1864). He fell with many other boys from the 46th/55th, including Captain Pleasant M. Hope and his brother William.  This regiment was 250 before Franklin and only 25 answered the call after.

Hendricks was mortally wounded at Franklin and died on December 2nd at the age of 32. He was survived by his wife Sarah J. Warnick and two daughters.

According to historian T. Burgess,  Lt. Robert B. Hendricks is buried in the McGavock CSA Cemetery, Tn. Section 52, Grave #14. 

Historian Eric A. Jacobson writes that William L. Hope is buried in that plot.


Picture credit: Portraits of Conflict; p. 231.

2 comments

  1. After talking more with Eric Jacobson it seems most likely that William Hope is buried in sec 52 #14, rather than Hendricks. The strongest evidence at this point is that the original cemetery book (the one Cuppett kept and handed over to Carrie McGavock) has the last name of “Hope” clearly written for this plot.

    It apparently does have the wrong first initials of “R.B.” beside the name Hope though. It’s understandable why some, possibly including Burgess, would think that R.B. Hendricks would be buried though because the three initials “fit” the plot in terms of R.B.H. if it is Robert B. Hendricks buried there.

    Most of the granite markers do have the three initials of the names of the identified soldier inscribed on the top.

    But the bigger problem is that the cemetery book has the name Hope written for this plot. It seems Cuppett probably mis-scribed the first two initials beside the correct last name.

    It seems to me at least, for now, that Robert B. Hendricks was buried in McGavock but probably in an unknown or unidentified, possibly even mis-labeled, plot. Hendricks was a member of the same regiment as William L. Hope – the 46th/55th TN.

  2. Kraig,

    I will add one more thing about this grave. There is no question that the last name Hope was originally entered in the Cemetery Book and the same last name was listed in both a Franklin and Nashville newspaper from 1866. There is also no question the original initials were listed as R. B. in the Cemetery Book and the entry was later changed, in pencil, to indicate it was supposed to be W. L. Hope. Perhaps the most confusing aspect is that the gravestone is engraved R. B. H. Now the only plausible explanation for this is that the entry in the Cemetery Book was not changed until after 1890 when the stones in the cemetery were erected to replace the cedar headboards.

    Unfortunately, we will probably never know for certain who is buried in this grave. But because the one consistent piece of info is the last name, I think it is a stretch to think Hendricks is the one buried in grave 14. However, I have learned that nothing is for certain when it comes to graves with questionable info. Perhaps one day a more definitive answer may be known.

    Eric

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