The local DeSoto Trace chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution partnered with the Casimir Pulaski SAR chapter from Little Rock to officially mark the gravesite of Revolutionary War veteran Asher Bagley, who fought with the First New Jersey Regiment as a private.
At Old Union Cemetery in Saline County, the chapters met with Bagley descendant David J. Hoss Sr. and many other family members who traveled from several states for the ceremony of honor.
Presiding over the ceremony were DeSoto Trace president Charles McLemore, Casimir Pulaski past president Joey Sehon and past S.A.R. state president Cory Burns. DeSoto Trace chaplain Dr. Walter Smith provided prayer.
Also attending was DeSoto Trace secretary/treasurer Larry Huntsinger and Casimir Pulaski secretary/treasurer David Rasmussen.
“Personally, I didn’t know any of my descendants,” said Bagley’s great- great-great-grandson Hoss. “Then I got into genealogy and a cousin, I think in 1978, was with SAR and a part of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) ceremony back then here at this gravesite.”
Sehon opened the ceremony and served as master of ceremonies. The Benton High School JROTC performed as color guard for the event as approximately 20 family members looked on.
Also there to honor Bagley and family were members of the local Akansa chapter of DAR and Dr. George W. English III, who played the bagpipes.
Steve Perdue, president of the Saline County History and Heritage Society, spoke about the life of Asher Bagley, saying after serving in the war Bagley moved to Arkansas in 1828, living near Bland. Bagley was born in 1751 and died in November 1840, according to a Jan. 2, 1841, obituary.
After SAR officers spoke, Burns, McLemore and English walked to the gravesite, then Burns and McLemore placed the marker near the headstone and welcomed attendees to come closer for a look.
Hoss, Sr., in uniform, fired a salute to Bagley upon the command from Burns.
Several family members were moved by the ceremony, took pictures and shared memories.
If you think you have a Revolutionary War patriot in your family or an ancestor that helped the war effort as a civilian, contact McLemore at 501-209-9513 for details on how to become a member of SAR.
Research assistance can be provided to track down the necessary documentation to prove connections.