Yankee hater even in death

Near Manitou along State Road 630 in a little cemetery are the remains of a Yankee hater. After the Civil War loyal Confederates, in an attempt to soothe the sting of their defeated cause, coined the phrase "The South will rise again."

For a local man named Thomas G Hobgood the memory of a northern defeat made his blood boil. Hobgood, a true southerner to the end, made sure if the south ever got another chance to fight the Union he'd be there to help.

Hobgood, in the years leading up to the War Between the States, enjoyed great wealth as a planter. He owned acres and acres of fertile land in the Shakerag as well as some of the best looking livestock around. Although no one knows for sure, it has been speculated that Hobgood owned a slave or two that was ever present to do the really hard work around his plantation.

Hobgood was a southerner to the core, he enjoyed his wealth and never thought twice about his fineries mostly being the product of someone else's back breaking effort. Yes, life was good for Hobgood and as far as he was concerned, it was going to stay that way forever.

What Hobgood didn't know, or acknowledge, was that all good things must come to an end. And end they did in 1861 with the start of the Civil War. Before he knew it the Boys in Blue were ransacking, pillaging, looting and killing all over Hobgood's beloved south land.

When the Union came to Hanson Hobgood's farm was not spared. They took all his livestock, every sheep, horse, cow and hog on the place.

They tromped through his garden taking every edible thing they could find. And then they burned his house and all the other buildings on his property, but not before they had helped themselves to each and every posession of Hobgood's that they fancied.

To say that Hobgood was angry would be a gross understatement. The man was livid, as if he didn't hate the Yankees already they had done the unthinkable to him and when they won the war it only added insult to injury. They had ruined him, his wealth was gone as well as all his possessions. Left with nothing, the remainder of his days were spent thinking of ways to get even with the dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking Yankees.

Hobgood's final request was to be buried with his head toward the south, exactly opposite from the way non-Yankee haters are buried, with a musket in his hands. His plan was that when the Angel Gabriel blows his horn on resurrection day, he would rise facing the north, armed and ready.

His grave is still visible today in the Hobgood cemetery in Manitou.

This feature story originally appeared in the The Messenger in the small towns section of their "Changing Face of Hopkins County" on September 6, 1996 and was written by Slone Hutchison, a summer intern from Murray State University working with The Messenger to gain practical newspapering skills during her summer vacation.

My thanks to The Messenger for granting permission to publish on the Hopkins County, Kentucky KyGenWeb page.

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Nancy Trice
Hopkins County, Ky
trice@vci.net
© 1997