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Confederate brothers finally get their due
Members of Civil War groups and descendants work together to install official Confederate tombstones at the graves of four soldiers in Nelson County. By Donna Kraus Chasen

 The grave of Nathan Laud Kidd, killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg, is marked with an official Confederate headstone recently.
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Date published: 3/18/2006

Second of three articles

SUNDAY, MARCH 12, dawned unseasonably warm in Vir- ginia. In Nelson County, people from several areas of the state were gathering to make the long drive to Dutch Creek to honor four brothers who served the Confederacy in the Civil War, three of whom perished at Sharpsburg in the 1862 Antietam Campaign. Some of those in attendance were descendants of the soldiers.

This was the first meeting to clear the long-overgrown Johnson family cemetery where the Kidd brothers--Nathan, Preston, Robert K. and William "Jenks"--rest. Fortunately, an earlier meeting was postponed due to the forecast of near-freezing temperatures. The second date provided a more comfortable setting for the occasion.

The group's work was the direct result of the effort of Devin Miller of Bumpass in Louisa County, a descendant of the brothers and a member of the Fredericksburg Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She not only researched and found the pertinent information that enabled her to order official Confederate gravestones for them but also organized all of the efforts to clear and clean the cemetery and organize the dedication ceremony scheduled for late August of this year.

The Kidd brothers all enlisted to serve their beloved Confederacy and, as a result, their family would never be the same again. Nathan most likely was killed in a skirmish just prior to the Battle of Sharpsburg, and Robert K. perished during the battle. Preston was wounded and lingered for two weeks before succumbing to his wounds on Oct. 1, 1862. William "Jenks" was wounded and lost a portion of his left leg as a result of his injuries.

Ironically, Preston and William found themselves side by side in a barn that served as a makeshift hospital after the battle. William wrote home to their mother stating that they were both being well taken care of. He returned home and took over the care of his brother Nathan's two orphaned children before marrying and raising a family of his own.

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