Main Cemetery -- Area F
Lot 474 -- Westside


A Confederate soldier buried in Union territory? YES! John was born in 1842 in Missouri and enlisted as a private in the 2nd Missouri Cavalry, Confederate States of America. He was wounded at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, but survived the war.

Before the war, the Thurmon family had raised and sold horses but once the conflict began, many were conscripted for the army. As the story goes, after the armistice John had no horse and so began the long walk home from Virginia to Missouri. Along his way, he noticed a field of horses and chose one for himself. It is said that the horse had been born and bred on the Thurmon farm and knew the way to its home barn, even though it was totally blind.

In the late 1800s, John came north with his wife, Ann Eliza, and six children to work at the Merchants Despatch Corporation in East Rochester producing railroad cars. He was also a carpenter who built many of the houses in East Rochester.

John marched in his Confederate uniform alongside Union soldiers during Memorial Day parades. The crowds would cheer as he walked by. He and his family were warmly welcomed into the community.

After his death in 1919, John was buried at Pittsford Cemetery among 80 other veterans of the Civil War. His wife and two of their sons are also buried here.