Civil War - Where They Rest . . .

by Barb Hyde, November, 2011

A-I J-Z (Veterans Index) Medal of Honor Cemeteries

I never could have taken all of these photos.
Many thanks to all of the people who have so graciously, even enthusiastically, allowed me to use their photos.

Note for use: click on links to go directly to more information. Click on any small photo to open a full-size photo.

Florence SC Prison and its National Cemetery

Photo by Photo by Ruben Chico, Florence SC

Photo by Richard

Photo by Richard

The prison at Florence SC was a stockade built by forced prisoner labor to hold prisoners moved from Andersonville, GA prison when the Confederates grew worried that General Sherman might try to free the Andersonville prisoners while he was in Georgia. The first group of Federal prisoners arrived at the prison site on September 15, 1864. By the end of September, 12,000 Federal prisoners were at Florence. Deaths ran about 30 each day. When Sherman turned north and entered South Carolina, it was decided to move all prisoners in Florence and negotiate an exchange of prisoners. The able-bodied prisoners were sent to Greensboro and the sick prisoners were sent to Wilmington. By the end of February, 1865, the prison at Florence was no more. Estimates of the number of prisoners who died in the Florence stockade range as high as 5,900, the number claimed by a bitter ex-prisoner in his memoirs. The best figure which can now be determined from the extant records, however, is about 2,800 deaths.

Many men had died at the prison stockade and were buried on the plantation of Dr. James H. Jarrott, a wealthy landholder and owner of many slaves. He was said to have been a "Union man." The dead were removed from the hospital every morning in an army wagon drawn by mules. They were piled upon one another until the wagon was filled. A party of prisoners dug trenches where the bodies were to be laid. Interments were made in two separate burial grounds, one containing approximately 416 remains and the other approximately 2,322 remains. Interments in the larger portion were made in 16 trenches. The larger area was designated as the Florence National Cemetery in 1865, and the remains from the smaller portion were reinterred there. There are only five known burials in the mass graves, none from Pennsylvania or New York.

A historical marker in the row between the burial trenches bears the following inscription:


On each side of this marker lie the remains of approximately 2300 Union soldiers who died as prisoners in the Florence Prison Stockade, between September 1864 and February 1865. The Stockade was located across Cemetery Street on Stockade Road. Burials are in trenches indicated by stone markers at the end of each row, showing the number of individuals placed there.

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Fredericksburg VA National Cemetery

Photo by Tim Poe


Photo by Tim Poe

An interesting story from today. On Memorial Day,2009, Fredericksburg's Boy Scout troops placed and lit all the luminaria shown in these photos to honor these soldiers who died for their cause.

Fredericksburg National Cemetery was created by an act of Congress in July, 1865 as the burial place for Union soldiers who died in several major Civil War battles in the area. The 53rd PA Vols was engaged in all of the battles. The 149th PA Vols were engaged in all but the Battle of Fredericksburg. In all of these battles, the regiments lost men. With few exceptions the soldiers who died here are most likely buried in the mass burial trenches in this cemetery.

  • Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862)
  • Battle of Chancellorsville (April 30 to May 6, 1863)
  • Battle of the Wilderness May 5-7, 1864
  • Battle of Spotsylvania Court House (5-12-1865)
The cemetery was placed on Marye's Heights, a Confederate stronghold during the Battle of Fredericksburg. There are a total of 15,243 Civil War interments, of those, only 2,473 were identified. Civil War interment occurred in 1867. Mass graves are marked with a flat stone that contains the number of the plot and the number of soldiers buried in it. The luminaria in the photos are on graves of our unknown dead.

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 Last Update November 11, 2011

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