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Civil War veteran’s gravestone dedicated

A dedication ceremony to honor Civil War Union Veteran John Robert Lobb was held Sunday, June 13, at Three Forks of Bacon Creek Baptist Church cemetery near Magnolia in Hart County, Kentucky.

Mr. Lobb, known as Johnny, was born Feb. 25, 1844, and died Jan. 2, 1911.

On Oct. 12, 1861, at the age of 18, Johnny Lobb enlisted in the Union Army at Rochester, Kentucky. He served as a private in Company E, 27th Infantry of the Kentucky Volunteers.

Johnny, later referred to by his family as “Grand Pap,” related the following story to his grandchildren over the years. In late November of 1863, he and some of his fellow infantrymen were trapped for 18 days by Confederate soldiers on Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

With the Confederates in pursuit, the Union soldiers rode their horses as far up the mountain as they could, then dismounted, tied their horses and continued farther up on foot. Food and water was scarce and the soldiers were reduced to half rations, and then down to five men per one man’s ration.

After 15 days, their captain asked for a volunteer to carry a message down the mountain with plans to be captured by the enemy.

The message, which was a ruse, indicated that a thousand or more Union troops were on their way to reinforce and resupply the men. Within about 24 hours, Johnny and his fellow soldiers could see the Confederates retreating and knew that their man had been captured and the message believed.

The men made their way back down the mountain to their horses and were dismayed to find that they had all starved to death where they were tied. Some had tried to eat the saddle leather and blankets. Incidentally, the volunteer who was captured was never seen nor heard from again.

The situation was turned around, and when Gen. Joseph Hooker and two corps of Union soldiers arrived to relieve the besieged Gen. William Rosecrans and his men, driving the Confederates down the mountain and winning a victory that would be known as the “Battle Above the Clouds.”

The Union forces captured Chattanooga and gained control of the Tennessee River and the railroad cutting off the confederate supply line and paving the way for a decisive Union victory at Missionary Ridge.

On May 31, 1864, Johnny was injured in the Battle of Burnt Hickory near Kingston, Georgia, when a minié ball struck his right arm above the elbow. After treatment in a hospital, he returned to his company. He was honorably discharged on March 19, 1865, and returned to Hammonsville and began farming.

John Robert Lobb married Elizabeth Burge and they had six children – two daughters and four sons. His youngest son, Bird Lobb, is the father of Curtis Lobb (buried in Hodgenville, Kentucky) and grandfather of Arlene Lobb Mattingly of Jessamine County, Kentucky, who set this entire process in motion in 2019 by contacting Col. Tracy Lewis of Camp Nelson who directed her to the Department of Veterans Affairs where she filled out an application for John Robert Lobb to receive a new headstone.

With much help from Jack Mills and the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War Camp 5 and Greg Ard and the 3rd Kentucky Regiment reenactors, the stone was constructed and placed in 2020.