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Couple finds UCV Iron Cross grave marker on their property

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Springfield residents Wayne and Lydia Lackey hold the United Confederate Veterans Iron Cross grave marker they recently found on their property.

SPRINGFIELD, SC — Wayne and Lydia Lackey of Springfield say it’s not unusual for them to find artifacts on their property, known originally as Phillips Plantation,” but what they dug up recently has them puzzled.

 Wayne Lackey said he was planning to put in a corn field and had just tilled up an area when his wife, Lydia, pulled up a United Confederate Veterans Iron Cross.

“Lydia was out in the field pulling out the debris when she grabbed this metallic thing and pulled it out of the ground,” he said.

Mrs. Lackey said she realized it was a marker of some kind.

Her husband sandblasted it, revealing a United Confederate Veterans Iron Cross grave marker.

“We don’t know who (if anyone) is buried here or anything much about the marker,” Mr. Lackey said. “But maybe somebody will know something about this and let us know. We have always found artifacts on this place, but this marker’s history has got to be pretty unique and we would really like to know more about it.”

The Lackeys say their property was once a part of a land grant. During the time of the Civil War, the property was owned by David Vastine Phillips and his wife, Orra Zilphia (Williamson), Mr. Lackey said. David Vastine Phillips died in 1862 and his wife died in 1886, he said. The property passed to their son, Charles Stephens Phillips, and his Alice Madora Able Phillips, Lackey said. The house burned in the early 1900s but was rebuilt around 1908, he said.

Mrs. Lackey said she finds the history of the house “fascinating.”

“It seems that Leslie Hellams Fulmer married Eloise Phillips. They had two children, a son, Leslie, born in 1931 and a daughter, Alice Sue, born in 1937. I know this because the names and dates are written on the cement steps on the side porch,” she said.

“Leslie married Louise. I do not know her maiden name. They built the house next door. Leslie died in the early 1990s, and Alice Sue got married and moved to Florida. This house was then sold to the Browders who lived here a short time and later to Sarah Keighley (sic) who lived here about 20 years.”

“We bought the house from her daughter, Betty Vukovich, in 1994 and have enjoyed living here ever since, retaining as many of the original features as possible,” Mrs. Lackey said.

The Lackeys are trying to find out more about the marker and whether or not it signifies a burial site. They contacted the S.C. State Confederate Museum but have yet to receive any information. They also completed several online searches will little result.

Mrs. Lackey said they were able to ascertain that prior to 1889, the Confederate veterans had no national organization, only local and regional ones. Several of these groups met in New Orleans in 1889 and formed the United Confederate Veterans Association as a benevolent, historical, social and literary organization, she said.

“The UCV, as it came to be known, was active until the early 1950s with the last UCV commander-in-chief, James W. Moore, holding office from 1949 to 1951,” Mrs. Lackey noted. “The final national UCV reunion was held in May 1951, and a postage stamp was issued to commemorate the event.”

Anyone with information about the UCV, the UCV Iron Cross or a possible burial site on the old Phillips Plantation property is asked to call the Lackeys at 803-258-9040.

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Read more: The Times and Democrat


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