Fortune-Kuykendall Cemetery (William Capps)

William Capps fought in the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War.
His military service records reflect that he served with the N.C. Militia attached to the command of Gen. Daniel Morgan in the Battle of Cowpens where British forces were defeated Jan. 17, 1781.
His grave is located deep in the woods within a subdivision off U.S. 176 in southern Henderson County.
“William Capps Jr., Private N.C. Troops, Revolutionary War, 1761-1847, enlisted in the American Revolution Army 1780, in Johnston County, N.C., at age 19, came to this section in 1795,” the inscription on his tombstone reads.
The Revolutionary War pension application of Capps states he lived in Burke County when he was drafted for service in 1780. He fought under Gen. Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens. He served a second tour participating in scouting excursions. He was drafted a third time while visiting in Montgomery County, Va.
He moved from Burke County to the Edgefield District of South Carolina after the war and later moved into today’s Henderson County between 1800 and 1810.
By 1799, William Capps had purchased land along Green River in today’s Henderson County and, by 1810, he owned more than 1,000 acres of land.

On the tombstone of his wife, Nancy, is inscribed the names of their 12 children, one of whom was Matthew Capps, who is also buried in the cemetery.
“Matthew Capps, 1800-1867, ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1834 by the Middle Fork Baptist Church, upper Greenville, S.C.,” the inscription on the tombstone reads.
The family lived south of the Continental Divide in the present community of Zirconia.
A daughter married a grandchild of Abraham Kuykendall, one of the largest landowners in Henderson County, who owned in the early 1800s most of present-day Flat Rock from Little River Road to Kanuga Road.
The grave site of Phillip Allen Kuykendall is also thought to be located in the cemetery. He enlisted in the 56th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. G, Henderson Blues, in April 1862. He was wounded 8-21-1864 at the Battle of Globe Tavern during the Siege of Petersburg, and was hospitalized at Richmond, Va. He died in 1921.
The Fortune-Kuykendall Cemetery is not in danger of destruction from development or by the property owner. It is one of many historic cemeteries in the county that is often simply neglected.
Some of the neglected cemeteries have not been maintained in decades, some in more than 100 years, and are in much worse condition than the Fortune-Kuykendall Cemetery.
“Many of the old cemeteries are endangered more from neglect than anything else,” said George Jones, a founder of the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society. “Families are knowingly neglecting them.”
Boy Scout Troop 610 has conducted several cleanups of this historical cemetery.
“We had to fill in sunken graves,” a leader of the troop said. “Some sank when the boys stood on them to clean them. The first clean up took a couple of weekends. We hauled brush out and brought in fill dirt.”
Since that initial clean up and some years of follow-up maintenance, the leadership of the troop changed and the cemetery was forgotten. The troop cleared a trail to the cemetery and erected handcrafted signs.
About 2005, the Boy Scouts with the help of the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and volunteers, cleaned the trail and cemetery again. Scouts are not allowed to use power tools and need adult volunteers in major clean ups.