This is an amended version of a newspaper article first published in 2005 in the Hendersonville Times-News.
By Jennie Jones Giles
There are also Sittons and Gillespies buried in the Whitaker Cemetery in Mills River, off Hall Road and Whitaker Lane. The cemetery is also known as the Whitaker-Moore Cemetery.
There are about 160 grave sites in the cemetery, including a Union and Confederate soldier, two World War I veterans, World War II veterans, and veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam War.
The oldest graves date to the 1860s. This is still an active cemetery with recent burials. The cemetery consists of 1.74 acres.
“A committee looks after it,” said descendant Glenn Whitaker. “There is a deed that it belongs to the Mills River Baptist Church.”
The Mills River Baptist Church was deeded three cemeteries over the years, the Rickman, Sitton-Gillespie and Whitaker.
Whitaker said descendants of persons buried in the cemetery are planning to make the site a community cemetery.
Donations are needed to pay for maintenance, he said. A memorial fund for L.L. and Laura Crawford Moore was established some years ago by their son Ralph L. Moore for the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.
“So far, we have enough donations to keep it mowed,” Whitaker said.
Among those buried at the cemetery are Solomon Whitaker (1822-1895) and Riley Whitaker (1823-1900), along with many of their descendants.
Since this newspaper article was written additional information on Civil War veterans was researched.
There are four Civil War veterans with grave sites at the family cemetery.
Solomon Whitaker enlisted in the Union’s 3rd N.C. Mounted Infantry, Co. I, one month before the war ended. The Henderson County Cemetery book states that the foot stone reads: Cpl. Co. I 2nd N.C. Mounted Infantry. There is no Union record that he was ever in the 2nd N.C. Mounted Infantry. He deserted the Union Army at the end of April 1865. There is no evidence that he ever returned to duty. He was a Confederate deserter from the 69th Regiment N.C. Troops (7th Regiment N.C. Cavalry), Co. A. He died in 1895. His son, Rufus Whitaker, served in the Confederate 60th N.C. Infantry Regiment and died from wounds Dec. 20, 1863, in the hospital at Chattanooga, Tenn.
William R. Rickman enlisted in the 60th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. B. He was reported sick at home in November and December 1862. He was on detail attending the sick in January and February 1863 in Greeneville, Tenn. He rejoined the company in March 1863. He was captured at the Battle of Kolb’s Farm during the Atlanta Campaign, a prisoner at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., and released in May 1865. He died in 1908. The military information on his grave stone is incorrect. This soldier was not the William R. Rickman who served with the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment and who was born in 1842. That William R. Rickman died in 1922 in Spartanburg County, S.C., and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Spartanburg, S.C.
Thomas W. Whitaker enlisted in the 69th Regiment N.C. Troops (7th Regiment N.C. Cavalry), Co. A. He died in 1867
William Riley Whitaker enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. H, Cane Creek Rifles. He died in 1900.