Mt. Iser Cemetery is a rare Confederate burial site located within Federal entrenchments. This cemetery is unusual because it is a privately owned Confederate burial site. This site is owned by the Randolph County Historical Society and is located on Butcher Hill, which overlooks Beverly.
During the Civil War, Mt. Iser was a defensive position used by the Union troops, and the earthworks are still visible on the hillsides surrounding the cemetery. These trenches are part of the reason why Mt. Iser was chosen as the location of the Confederate Cemetery in 1870. The Union forces that occupied Beverly dug the trenches and established camps on Mt. Iser. During Confederate raids the mountain became a point of sanctuary for the soldiers stationed in Beverly. A local resident of Beverly during this period, Thomas I. Arnold, explains how Mt. Iser became a Confederate Cemetery about five years after the War ended.
“Not long after the War, Mr. Joseph Hart, who lived at the top of Rich Mountain on the battlefield, expressed the wish that the Confederate dead, who had been buried in the trenches not far from his residence, could be removed. In consequence, arrangements were made by a few of the citizens for their removal. Calvin Collett contributed the necessary ground on top of Mt. Iser. Colonel Goff, Dr. Yokum, Mr. Cresap, George Leonard, and Thomas Arnold contributed the funds necessary for the removal. Moses Phillips was hired by this group for the removal.”
About sixty-nine Confederate soldiers, and one civilian, from the Rich Mountain Battle and surrounding skirmishes were moved to Mt. Iser.
In 1908, the Randolph County chapter of United Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated a spire in remembrance for the fallen soldiers buried on Mt. Iser. This chapter was organized on January 8th, 1898 in Beverly for the sole purpose of purchasing a monument to place on Mt. Iser. It took ten years for the group to succeed in their mission to raise three thousand dollars to purchase and place the twenty-eight-foot granite obelisk on Mt. Iser.
There was some difficulty identifying the soldiers buried at Mt. Iser. The Randolph Chapter attempted to identify the men by putting out advertisements in newspapers throughout the area, but had little luck. This is why there are no names on the original obelisk. In 2000 the Women’s Club donated bronze plaque donated that lists the Confederate soldier’s names who were most likely buried here.
Inscription on front of monument:
61 U.C. V. 65
The Confederate Soldiers
Resting here and
To all who wore Gray
“Lest we Forget”
Erected by Randolph Chapter
United Daughters of the
July 2000 re-dedication plaque inscription:
Probable Burials Include:
20th VA. Inf. 25th Va. Inf.
John W. Bayne Henry R. Gamble
John G. S. Boyd George W. Hite
William J. Cox Henry Clay Jackosn
James A. Depriest John Lawman
William A. Gillespie Abraham Snider
Travis Guthrie Samuel Srickler
Robert W. Harding Robert West
George W. Hazelwood
Charles H. Hickock 62nd Va. Inf.
Thomas H. McFadden William E. Freeland
Jack E. Murphy William F. Gardner
Adam Nester John Hartman
Samuel H. Pendleton Jacob N. Jackson
Motier L. Pierce Peyton Moyers
James H. Richardson Joseph Propst
William T. Smith John Sharp
David Stinson John Smith
Guinn Ward Lee Battery
Richard D. White Isaiah Ryder
James W. Williamson
Constantine Wingfield Other
Douglas B. Woodson William Fadely
14th Va. Cavalry Civilian/Courier
James B. Wilson John H. Hughes, Lawyer
John B. Wyant
Lesser, Hunter. Mt. Iser: Witness to History.
Randolph Enterprise. Fine monument unveiled, Beverly entertains large number of veterans. Oct. 2, 1908.
USDI/NPS NRHP Registration Form, Mt. Iser Historic District, Randolph County, West Virginia, Section 7 and 8, 2000.