Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient MHS honors veterans during pregame Kirker Covered Bridge gets a ‘Brown Goose’ facelift Adams County Heritage Days are Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Lady Devils prevail 1-0 over Peebles on Kickin’ Cancer Night Senior Profile: Patrick Baldwin Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend Figgins goal gives Devils a 1-0 win over West Union Lady Devils soccer rolls past West Union 9-1 Senior Profile: Madison Jenkins Boys golf season in full swing in county Winchester Homecoming Festival beats the heat and the storm I learned a lot from Rusty Verona McRoberts Lester Boldman Elsworth Cook Jr Harold L Applegate Governor Kasich honors Defender’s 150th anniversary ACRMC offers Language Interpretation Greyhounds stumble in opener, Green rushing attack leads to big win Notre Dame drops North Adams in straight sets

One family’s Memorial Day tradition bridges the past and present

The grave site of soldier Zachariah Moon sits alone alone Highway 41.
The grave site of soldier Zachariah Moon sits alone alone Highway 41.

Over eight decades, five generations honor a fallen soldier

Story and photo by Patricia Beech –

Memorial Day is a uniquely American holiday. It not only inspires patriotic sentiment and reminds us that liberty comes at a cost, but it also has the power to make the past real to people because it is infused with memories and tradition.

While Memorial services were being conducted in cemeteries across the county and families were laying flowers on their loved ones graves, one local family made their traditional yearly trek to the site of a lone tombstone along highway 41. For more than 80 years they have come to this place near the Treber Inn to pay their respects to a young soldier who died there one night in October 1813.

The family, all descendants of Roy Knauff, a WWI veteran, teacher, orator, and newspaper editor, gather round the weathered stone and tell the story of Zachariah Moon, a private in the 13th Kentucky Militia.

“I’m not sure what it is about the place or the story that drew our grandfather to it, but it has become a tradition for our family,” said Knauff’s granddaughter Tricia Fraley. Fraley’s mother, Marilyn Knauff, says she believes her father-in-law’s patriotism was what drew him there, “He was a very sensitive man, I think it was because that soldier was left there alone, and it wasn’t his home,” she says. “I think Mr. Knauff felt that someone should take care of him.”

Here is the story of Zachariah Moon, as told by Mr. Knauff to his sons, Walter and Hubert:

“While Memorial Day services are being held today in the cemeteries of Adams County, there is one lone soldier’s grave that will be remembered respectfully, as always. The white marble marker at the head of the grave informs the passerby that Zachariah Moon, a private in the 13th Kentucky Militia, is sleeping the last-long sleep. A soldier of the War of 1812, he was died and was buried here in October 1813. Moon was with a company of troops returning south from their campaigns along the Canadian border. They were being deployed from the north, presumably for a buildup of strength in the Mississippi Valley to block a threatened invasion by the British troops of General Edward Packenham. The troops followed what is known as Zane’s Trace to where Aberdeen now stands and crossed the Ohio River by barge into Limestone, now Maysville, Ky. On an October day the soldiers had eaten their noon meal near Locust Grove. The long afternoon shadows lay cool across their paths as they trudged along the trail on the last leg of their journey for the day. On reaching Treber Inn they found a level field in which to bivouac for the night. Tired from their long day’s journey, the soldiers slept well while the wolves howled in the forest and the night hawk called to his mate across the ravine. It was during this night that Pvt. Moon died. The next morning his comrades prepared a grave beside the trail, the chaplain intoned the burial rites, the bugler sounded taps and the soldiers resumed their journey, leaving their comrade behind. The trail beside which Moon is buried was not much more than a path through the wilderness. Wolves have ceased their howling, but the night hawk still calls to his mate across the ravine, and the soldier boy still sleeps.”

Before passing away in 2003 Walter (Shorty) Knauff sent his father’s story to the People’s Defender. “For as far back as I can remember, Dad took me and Hubert to Zachariah Moon’s grave on what we called Decoration Day, to place flowers on the grave,” he wrote. “Years later, I continued to place flowers at the grave site with my own children, and each year, I too, told the story of Zachariah Moon. Now, I take my grandchildren to this sacred spot and they too want to hear the story.”

When Walter died the mantle of story teller was passed to his daughter Kris Brown.

“When I was young I kind of got away from it because my life felt so rushed, but now that I’m older, it means a lot to me,” Brown says. “Now, I can see how important it was to my dad.”

Brown and her four sisters share a common childhood memory. “Every year we gathered baskets of flowers from our grandmothers’ gardens, and we wore little sashes and rode through town in the Memorial Day parade,” she says. “Then we’d go to the cemeteries and put flowers on all the graves that had a flag, Dad would make a speech, and then we’d go visit Zachariah Moon’s grave, and he would tell us the story.”

This year the family’s newest member, Fraley’s two-year old grandson, became the fifth generation to make the visit to Moon’s grave.

“We’ve shared this story with our parents, then with our own children, and now I’ll do it for my grandson,” says Fraley. “He’ll never know my Dad, but he’ll know something about him because of this place.”

Perhaps, that is part of the reason we are all drawn to cemeteries on Memorial Day, we can feel the past there, and it allows us to leave a part of ourselves behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender