Looking back: Three Boyle men who served in Civil War die within a few days of each other

Published 9:13 am Friday, September 11, 2020


Contributing writer

Three men who served during the Civil War died within a few days in the spring of 1925, according to articles in The Advocate-Messenger archives.

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Captain Sanford D. VanPelt, one of the oldest citizens and oldest Union Army veteran in Danville, died March 25, 1925, at his home on McGrorty Avenue. He was 89 years old.

Confederate veterans James B. Chinn died April 3,1925, at his home on Lexington Pike, and James H. Baughman died April 4, 1925, died at his home on Quirk’s Run Road.

Chinn and Baughman served in John Hunt Morgan’s Command.

They were among a few veterans remaining in Boyle County. The six Confederate veterans left were T.D. English, E.M. Green, Alexander Tribble, William Baughman, Robert W. Walker, and Nelson Dunsmore.

James H. Baughman was one of the first commissioners to be appointed to have charge of the Perryville battle grounds.

When the property was deeded to the state about 1902, the governor appointed James Baughman, Robert J. Breckinridge, Boyle O. Rodes and VanPelt to have charge of the grounds.


Sanford VanPelt


VanPelt enlisted the Union Army’s 7th Cavalry on May 24, 1863, in Franklin, Tennessee, when he was 26 years old. He joined the 11th Cavalry on August 20, 1863, as a first sergeant in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and Captain.

VanPelt was 89 years old when he died. Born October 15, 1836, in Lexington, he came to Danville at the close of the war. He and Florence P. Taylor, were married in July 1866.

He attended University of Lexington prior to the war.

He was a marble cutter by trade, and was postmaster for four years in the 1890s during President Harrison’s administration.

The VanPelt’s were married 58 years and Florence died 18 months before he died.

They had six children, Cora, Hiram, Hallie, Whalan, Milton and Nina.

“While he was loyal to the Union cause, he held a high regard for the Confederate side, and took part in many of the Confederate decoration celebrations”, held annually in May.

He also was active in the Christian Church, a Mason with Franklin Masonic Lodge for 50 years and served for many years as tyler of the Blue Lodge.

VanPelt also was an adjutant of the Major Robertson Post of Odd Fellows.


James B. Chinn


Chinn enlisted in the Confederate Army on July 1, 1863, in Mercer County.

Chinn was born Sept. 2, 1838, in Harrodsburg, and was a son of Gabriel Tinsley Chinn (1816-1898) and Mary Lee Hicks, (1818-1895).

He and his wife Mary E. Cecil (1841-1921) were married October 30, 1865, in Boyle County. They lived on a farm on Lexington Road and apparently didn’t have children.

When Chinn died at 86 years old, Elizabeth and Edward Walters, were listed as grandchildren survivors along with two sisters, and two brothers. The grandchildren were children of the late Ed Chinn Walters, who were reared by Chinn.


James H. Baughman


James Harris Baughman, a Boyle County prominent farmer, who lived on Quirk’s Run Road, was a former sheriff and tobacco farmer.

He joined the 7th Regiment of the Kentucky Cavalry in the Confederate Army in 1862. He was a private.

A native of Kentucky, James was born March 24, 1845, and died April 4, 1925, at the age of 80. He was a son of Samuel Owsley Baughman (1817-1890), and Elizabeth Dunn Baughman (1828-1948).

James and his wife, Maria Harlan Baughman (1848-1921), were married on August 17, 1865, in Danville. They had been married 48 years when she died in 1921.

Maria was a daughter of Jacob Harlan (1848-1821) and Atalanta B. Harlan (1823-1856) of Boyle County.

They had two daughters, Deria (1866-1944) and Clarice (1878-1960), and two sons, Jacob H. (1876-1877), and Samuel J. (1871-1890).

James and Maria and their children are buried in Bellevue Cemetery.

The Baughmans were members of Danville Christian Church.