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Chillicothe, Iowa: Grave of the Oldest Soldier in the Civil War

Curtis King enlisted into the "Gray Beards" regiment in 1863 and died that same year, age 80. The graveyard is a small fenced area, hidden behind trees.

Williams Cemetery

US Hwy 63, Chillicothe, IA
The biggest tombstone in tiny Williams Cemetery. On the south side of US Hwy 63 a half-mile west of the turnoff for Chillicothe. Look for the small brown sign if driving east. If driving west, it's the first turn left across the highway after the Chillicothe turnoff.
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Grave of Curtis King.

Grave of the Oldest Civil War Soldier

I had a little trouble finding this small cemetery following the directions listed here. Highway 63 was improved several years ago, and the cemetery is not accessed from the Chillicothe turnoff. There are brown/white Historical Marker signs facing both directions directly on Highway 63 NEAR the Chillicothe turnoff. Not much time to turn into the small grassy driveway to the cemetery. So don't turn off four-lane Highway 63 at the sign for Chillicothe; instead, look for the Historical Marker signs. The tiny graveyard is on the west side of Highway 63.

[Karen, 12/05/2013]

Civil war grave.

Grave of the Oldest Soldier in the Civil War

This is a seriously tiny spot next to a field.

[Jen, 06/23/2013]

Curtis King was 80 when he enlisted and died.

Grave Site of Oldest Man to Enlist During Civil War

In 1863, the Lt. Governor of Iowa asked the War Department for premission to form a regiment of men over the enlistment age of 35 to relieve the younger men from noncombative duties. The 37th Iowa Volunteer Regiment (known as the "Gray Beards") was formed. Mr. King enlisted at the age of 80 years.

He served for several months before being discharged due to ill health. He was the oldest man on either side to have joined the Civil War.

His grave site is well maintained and marked. It has a wrought iron fence around it and a large marker placed there by the Ottumwa and Cedar Rapids Civil War Round Tables.

[Max Breon, 01/25/2007]

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