Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 12, 2014

Civil War grave marker dedication for Joseph William Brown today in Pipestem

PIPESTEM — The Sons of the Confederate Veterans and The Flat Top Copperheads will host a grave marker dedication and place a Southern Iron Cross of Honor for fallen soldier, Joseph William Brown today at 6 p.m. at the Old Brown Cemetery in Pipestem (Lick Creek).

Brown was killed at “The Battle of Flat Top Mountain” on May 16, 1862. The battle took place at Clark’s house on Flat Top Mountain near Camp Creek in Mercer County. Henry and Ruth Mize Clark owned the log cabin.

It was a rainy, muddy day when the battle commenced between Company A of the 17th regiment of the Virginia Cavalry (The Copperheads) and Company C of the 23rd Ohio regiment. Captain Richard B. Foley led the confederate soldiers, while General J.D. Cox, Major R.B. Hayes, Sergeant William McKinley, Captain Botsford and Captain French led the Union forces that had been stationed at nearby Camp Jones. The battle saw early action for many future political leaders. Hayes and McKinley would become Presidents of the United States of America.

The Union had twenty casualties (one dead and nineteen wounded), while the Confederates had twenty-six (five dead, twenty-one wounded). Joseph William Brown was shot in the back. He died later near the site. His sister, Eliza Jane Brown Keaton came for his body, recognizing him by his distinctive long black hair. The Brown family buried him in the “Old Brown Cemetery.” His death certificate reads that he died in his fifties, while in reality he died at the age of 24.

An historical marker stands to this day near the battlefield.

Three brothers, Joseph William, Allen and John died while serving in the Civil War. Allen and John died from disease during the war.  Another brother, William, returned to the Brown Farm after serving a distinguished career with J.E.B Stuart’s cavalry.

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