Saturday, January 19, 2008

Starling Gunn Grave Soil at Mount Vernon

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 29 March 1928 (Page 1)

Soil From Grave of Starling Gunn at Mt. Vernon

The tree from Yorktown which was recently planted near the tomb of George Washington at Mount Vernon by the Daughters of the American Revolution is taking root in soil, part of which was removed from the grave of Starling Gunn in Caswell county, it was learned today. A box
full of earth taken from the grave of the old patriot was North Carolina's contribution to the tree-planting ceremony but this apparently is not generally known.

The grave of Starling Gunn was brought into public view a few years ago. It is near Yanceyville and for years it had been neglected. Then the significance of the words on the time-worn slab was realized. This gives the name of the old soldier, recites the fact that he was a member of the Methodist church for 40 years, that he fired the first gun at the Battle of Yorktown, and that he personally witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. Gunn was a Caswell county pioneer and is the forbear of many Gunns now to be found in these parts.

Starling Gunn (1764-1852) is buried in the Yanceyville United Methodist Church cemetery (Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina), with the following inscription on his gravestone:

Sacred to the memory of Starling Gunn a soldier in the war of Independence who fired the first cannon at York and was an eye witness to the surrender of Cornwallis. He was for more than 40 yrs a prominent member of the M. E. Church. Who Died Aug. 13, 1852. AE. 88
y's 3 m's 4d's.

To see a photograph of Starling Gunn's gravestone go to the Caswell County Cemetery Census at:

The image also can be found at the Caswell County Photograph Collection:

For a biographical sketch go to:

For detailed Gunn family information see the Gunn and Burruss Family Tree:

Gunn family information can, of course, be found at the Caswell County
Family Tree website:

When this article was published Starling Gunn's grave was in the Gunn family cemetey north of Yanceyville. Later, his great great grandson, Johnnie Oliver Gunn, had the remains and gravestone moved to the Yanceyville United Methodist Church cemetery in Yanceyville.


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