Reinterments in Clay County Cemeteries

Gadara Cemetery - 1996 - Two Civil War Soldiers

(AP) KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – The two veterans were moved from gravesites in remote North Florida woods on a two-wheeled cart and reburied in pine boxes as a bugler in Confederate uniform played “Confederate Tattoo” and a National Guardsman played “Taps.” A century after William Riley Glisson and Isaac Tyre died, the Civil War veteran’s remains were moved to Gadara Cemetery near Keystone Heights.

The reinterment Sundary was conducted in full military pageantry by uniformed members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who presented a 23-gun salute with Civil War rifles. At least a hundred spectators witnessed the very Southern event.  Many wore period costume – some women wore black with veils in the 90-dgree heat. The caskets were taken to the cemetery by men pulling a limber, a two-wheeled cart used to carry ammunition caissons during the Civil War.

Descendants of Glisson, a cavalryman, and Tyre, an infrantryman, said they were glad their ancestors finally had been laid to rest near other family members and friends.“There were very close friends,” said Merrill Glisson of his grandfather and Tyre.  “I think getting the bodies moved is outstanding, primarily because Gadara Cemetery is sort of a family cemetery for all the Glissons.” Gayward Hendry, a leader in the Clay County Sons of Confederate Veterans who helped arranged the reinterment, said Glisson and Tyre were close wartime buddies.“They had made a pact to be buried together,” Hendry said.

The original tombstones, which were moved to the new graves within a mile of the original burial site, are inscribed with the names, military units and dates the two men died:

  • William Riley Glisson, Co. B, Second Regiment, Florida Cavalry. Died Feb. 10, 1898
  • Isaac Tyre, Co. K., Third Regiment, Florida Infantry. Died Oct 28, 1891.

As residential development increased in the area about 25 miles northeast of Gainesville, family members grew increasingly worried about the graves being destroyed. “That was the concern,” said Merrill Glisson’s wife, Marie Glisson.  “Through the years, the land has changed hands, and here were these two tomstones sitting out in the woods.” Phil Leary, great-grandson of Isaac Tyre, said that while he had mixed feelings about moving bodies after all these years, he went along with it to protect them.“It’s a very emotional thing,” Leary said. “But I’m relieved and happy that we’re able to do this because I think it’ll preserve the history of a very important member of our family.”