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David Waller Chenault was born in Madison County, Ky., February 5, 1826, the son of Anderson Chenault and Emily Cameron, his wife. Through his father he was descended from Estenne Chenault, a native of Languedoc, France, who, in company with many other Huguenots, was obliged to leave France after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and in 1700 settled in Virginia. Colonel Chenault's grandfather, William Chenault, a soldier of the Revolutionary War, was among the first settlers of Kentucky and lived and died on a farm near Richmond that he bought in 1878, from George Boone, a brother of Daniel Boone. Through his brother, Colonel Chenault was descended from Robert Cameron, of Inverness, Scotland, who fought under his chieftain, Cameron of Lochiel, at the battle of Culloden, in 1745, after which he made his way to Connecticut, whence his descendants, much later, made their way to Kentucky, stopping for a generation or so in Pennsylvania, en route. Colonel Chenault was a prosperous farmer in Madison County, and active locally in politics as a Whig, though he was never a  candidate for any political office. He served in the Mexican War as a subaltern in Captain J. C. Stone's company of Colonel Humphrey Marshall's First Kentucky Cavalry. He married Tabitha Phelps, of Madison County, but they never had any children. After his death his widow married William Todd, formerly of Missouri, who had been a captain in Quantrell's command. Colonel Chenault was buried on the battlefield at Green River Bridge, but in a few days his remains were taken up by his brother, Dr. R. C. Chenault, and carried to Madison County and reinterred in the old family burying-ground. In 1901, thirty-nine years later, his remains were again exhumed, and reinterred in the Richmond Cemetery. On this occasion the undertaker opened the coffin and found that, owing to some peculiarity of the soil in which it had been buried for nearly forty years, the body was still perfectly preserved, as though death had ensued only the day before, and the features of the face were still as perfect as in life, and plainly recognizable.
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