Looking Back: New stone marks grave of Garrard Civil War officer
Daniel C. Elkin and his granddaughter, Amanda Elkin, are shown with a portrait of their ancestor, Lt. Col. Daniel R. Collier, who served in the Civil War and as adjutant general in Kentucky during the Spanish-American War. (Photo/Brenda S. Edwards / November 14, 2011)
Family, friends and veterans gathered to remember and honor Lt. Col. Daniel R. Collier, who served with Co. B, 3rd Regiment Kentucky Infantry, at his gravesite in the Collier family plot. Besides his birth and death dates, the small white stone shows he was a Union officer with 3rd Kentucky Regiment Infantry, and served as adjutant general of Kentucky from 1895 to 1900.
The dedication was sponsored by the St. Elijah P. Marrs, Camp 5, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Department of Kentucky, in Jessamine County.
“We are here as a tribute of love and respect to Collier,” said Thomas Griswold, commander of the E.P. Marrs Camp 5.
He was adjutant general 1895-1900 during the Mexican-American War, Griswold added.
Griswold said the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War honors veterans by placing markers at their graves as a memorial to those who have served in the military.
“No one who has served should have a stone covered with grass,” he said.
Collier’s military career
Daniel C. Elkin of Danville, great-grandson of Collier, talked about Collier’s military career and the family who came to Garrard County from Virginia.
“I am grateful for this honor for my great-grandfather,” said Elkin. He said his great-grandfather spent his life working for his country.
He said Collier left school and joined the Union Army July 23, 1861, shortly after the Civil War began. He was selected second lieutenant of Co. B, 3rd Regiment Kentucky Infantry, and began his service at Camp Dick Robinson near Lancaster, the first Federal recruiting post south of the Ohio River.
Col. Thomas E. Bramlette commanded the regiment and when he resigned, Major McKee replaced him. Collier, who had served as second lieutenant about a year, had been promoted to captain, then to the rank of major, replacing McKee.
Early in the morning of Dec. 31, 1862, the first battle of Stones River, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., McKee was killed and Collier assumed command. In less than 10 minutes after the fall of McKee, Collier received severe wounds to one of his legs and breast but did not leave the battlefield. His first day in the battle, he was commissioned as lieutenant colonel.
Collier also helped save the bridge over the river after it caught fire during the battle.
Collier was in many battles, including the siege of Corinth, Shiloh, Murfreesboro, McMinnville, Stewart’s Creek, Perryville and all the principal campaigns up to Stones River.
After about five months, when it was apparent Collier would not be able for active service, he resigned and returned to Garrard County, where he farmed and raised stock, and was in mercantile pursuits.
He became a leader in Republican politics in the county. He had a strong influence among voters in the 8th Congressional District and was recognized by President William Henry Harrison for his services in the campaign of 1888.
Collier also was appointed as surveyor of customs and custodian of public property at Louisville. He served until September 1893. He also was named pension agent and served until his death.