Thompson Wood “Woodie” Lee

Thompson Wood Lee Monument – Old City Cemetery

Back in 1996, I had a college B & W photography assignment and I chose cemetery markers as my subject. One of the markers that drew my attention was Woodie Lee’s marker in the Lee family plot. It is huge. It shows a scabbard and two crossed flags: One the United States Flag and another of the Pelican Rifles. His footstone is a cavalry hat. Who was this man? I would later find his obituary:

The Gazette (Farmerville, LA)

Wednesday, September 14, 1898

Page 3, Column 2

Capt. T. Woodie Lee Dead.

                Monday afternoon the sad intelligence was received over the telephone that Capt. T. Woodie Lee had died early that morning in West Monroe, after several days illness with typhoid fever.  The disease was contracted while stationed at Miami and Jacksonville, Fla., with the troops of the First Louisiana Regiment.  When Capt. Lee was first taken sick he went home on a furlough, where the best medical treatment and tenderest nursing was given him; but, alas!  the malarial germ of Miami had so filled his system that it was impossible to eradicate it, and after being confined to a sick bed a little over three weeks he succumbed to the attack.

                Capt. Lee was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Lee, Jr.  He was born in Farmerville on November 4, 1873, and hence was in his 27th year at the time of his death.  He was graduated about 2 years ago at the State University of Baton Rouge with high honors.  Was elected captain of a military company at Baton Rouge, and at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, answering to the call of his country, he joined his company which was mustered in the First Louisiana Regiment for army service.  While in that service he contracted the fever that ended his young life.  Mr. Lee was a promising young man with many noble traits of his character, well fitted for the duties of life.  His untimely death is a severe blow to his relatives and many friends.  To them THE GAZETTE extends sincere sympathy in their sad bereavement.

A few years ago, when I was guiding a tour group through the cemetery, someone pointed out the hole in between the two crossed flags. It was designed to hold a flag, probably on decoration days.

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