The Families of Adam Keith

In the Civil War

The Stories


One wore blue, the other the gray

Individual Report for William Boone Keith


Anc: Adam Keith1>Balthasar Keith2>Peter Keith 3>Peter Keith4>Robert Keith5>William Boone Keith6


Birth: 30 Mar 1840 Place: Washington Co. OH

Death: 11 Dec 1920 Place: Las Vegas, Clark Co. NV

Burial : Woodlawn Cemetery, Las Vegas, Clark Co. NV

Father: Robert Keith (1816-1904)

Mother: Anna Boone (Cir 1813-1852)

Spouse: *Mary Louisa Grigg (Oct 1851 - 13 Nov 1931)

Marr.:Cir 1867 Place: Union Township, Delaware Co. IA

Unit: Co. K, 12th IA Infantry

William Boone Keith

William Boone Keith

Joseph Moore Graham

Wife, Anna E. [Neal] Graham

Woodlawn Cemetery Las Vegas, NV

William B. Keith GAR [Grand Army of the Republic] Camp No. 12, Las Vegas NV


The Camp was named after William Boone Keith, one of seven known Civil War veterans buried in Las Vegas, Nevada. Keith was born March 30, 1840 in Noble County, Ohio, moved as a child with his family to Iowa, and died in Las Vegas at the age of eighty years on December 11, 1920.


On September 14, 1861, at the age of twenty-one, William B. Keith enlisted as a Private in the Union Army. He was mustered into Company K, 12th Iowa Infantry on November 25, 1861. After leaving Iowa, his regiment went to Benton Barracks, Missouri. It left there January 29, 1862, and proceeded to Smithland, Kentucky, and from that point joined General Grant's expedition against Forts Henry and Donelson. The 12th Iowa assisted in taking Fort Henry, which surrendered February 6, 1862. Then they proceeded to Fort Donellson, which they reached February 12th, and participated in the storming and capture of that stronghold as a part of Col. Cook's Brigade, of Gen. C. F. Smith's Division. Here the 12th and 2nd Iowa were on the extreme left, and 2nd Iowa made a very gallant charge, and gained the first lodgement, and was immediately supported on its right by the 12th Iowa, which made almost as brilliant a dash as the 2nd. Gen. Buckner surrendered the fort the next day. Private Keith then accompanied his regiment to Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh, Tennessee), where they assisted all through that terrible 6th of April, 1862, to hold the center of the line, in company with the famous Iowa Brigade, composed of the 2nd, 7th, 12th, and 14th, Iowa regiments, under the command of Col. J. M. Tuttle, and in the division of General W. H. L. Wallace. After this brigade had held the spot now historically illustrious as the "Hornets' Nest," and after the rebel force had broken away the Union line both to the right and left, and had surrounded the 12th and 14th and attacked them from all sides, they surrendered, and became prisoners of war. General Tuttle had ordered the brigade to fall back, but the order failed to reach the 12th and 14th. The surrender took place between five and six o'clock in the evening. The prisoners were taken to Corinth, and for three days were without food. Private Keith was among those captured at the "Hornets' Nest" and was held until exchanged on October 17, 1862. After rejoining his unit, he suffered a serious wound to the right thigh on July 14, 1864 at Tupelo, Mississippi. Keith was finally discharged on February 9, 1866, ten months after the war's end.


After the war, William B. Keith met J. M. [Joseph Moore] Graham [1838-1917], a Confederate veteran [Caldwell’s Battalion, VA Cavalry, CSA], in Las Vegas and the two became the best of friends. Graham died of pneumonia in 1917, leaving his Union friend to ponder his remaining days. Still in fair health, Keith went to the Woodlawn Cemetery off Las Vegas Boulevard and bought plots 410 and 411. He obtained the ashes of Graham's wife from Virginia [I suspect Chaffee Co. Colorado, since she died there after 1900] and buried them with his friend in plot 410 and saved plot 411 for himself.


Inscribed on a stone at the grave site is the following;


Civil War Veterans 1861–1865


Arrayed in the conflict, in strife and dismay,

One wore the blue, the other the gray;

Time brought its changes, we two came to know,

The joy which true friendship, in life can bestow.


Note: The site of the burial of these two Civil War Veterans is the only place in the world where a Union Soldier and a Confederate Soldier are buried side by side in the name of peace and friendship.