Not far from the cemetery is the home where Samuel Bailey raised his 11 children, including the four soldiers. Two of the soldiers were among the more than 600,000 who died in the war between 1861 and 1865.
Charles Bailey was 24 when he starved to death in a Confederate prison camp in January 1864. Henry Bailey, 20, fought in 23 major battles, but died in the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864.
A third brother, George Bailey, survived the battlefield bloodshed but contracted a disease during the war and died of complications four years after the Civil War ended. He was 33.
Only Albert Bailey would go on to live a long life, William Bailey said. He didn’t know much about brother-in-law Samuel Rogers, who married Maryann Bailey.
William Bailey’s interest in his family connection to the war has inspired Joan Fardella, who helped organize the book club in September. Since then, the group has read and discussed eight books about the war and that time period.
The latest book they read was “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, a classic novel that depicted slavery in the mid-19th century.
“It is important for younger generations to know about this,” Fardella said. “I feel it’s important in our history. It is something Americans need to learn and understand. ... Some of the implications from then continue today.”
Baker and Fardella thanked the Bailey siblings for their donation.
“This is a wonderful family, the Bailey family,” Fardella said. “They are so proud of this — as they should be. Their family gave four sons.”