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.

Gettysburg PA National Cemetery

Photo from Stone Sentinels, with permission.
Monument to the 53rd PA Vols

Photo by David M. Stout
Christmas memorial

Photo by Photo by Ed McCarthy
Rows of graves of unknown soldiers.

Both the 53rd PA Volunteer Regiment and the 149th PA Volunteer Regiment saw action at Gettysburg. Both regiments sustained heavy casualties with the probable result that a number of Potter County's sons are buried as unknown soldiers in this cemetery - the cemetery of the Gettysburg Address. Graves of known soldiers are marked by standard, upright stones. Each unknown grave is marked with a simple, flat stone bearing a number.

Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, with the support of Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, the site of the national cemetery for this great battle was purchased on Cemetery Ridge, next to the existing Evergreen cemetery. The Union dead were moved from shallow graves and inadequate burial sites on the battlefield to the new cemetery on the ridge where so many died. .By March, 1863, the last of 3,512 Union dead - 979 of whom are unknown - had been reburied and the cemetery was complete.

The cemetery was dedicated on November, 18, 1863. President Abraham Lincoln's dedication address followed a 2-hour oration and was stunningly brief - today we know it as the Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Marietta GA National Cemetery

Photo by Mark Kubes

Marietta National Cemetery was established in 1866 to provide a suitable resting place for the nearly 10,000 Union dead from Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Of these, 3,026 are buried as unknown soldiers.

Henry Cole, a local merchant who remained loyal to the Union throughout the war, offered land for a burial ground for both Union and Confederate dead. His hope was that by honoring those who had fallen from both sides, others might learn to live in peace. Unfortunately, both sides clung to their bitterness and neither North nor South would accept Cole's offer toward reconciliation. When this effort failed, 24 acres were offered to General George H. Thomas for use of a national cemetery. In 1867 a second offer of land by Cole was accepted and a subsequent purchase of additional acreage in 1870 brought the cemetery to its present size of a little over 23 acres.

The inscription over the massive stone arch at the entry of the cemetery reads:

Marietta National Military Cemetery
Here rest the remains of 10,172 Officers and Soldiers who died
in defense of the Union 1861 to 1865

The 46th PA Volunteers marched to the sea with Sherman. They fought and died throughout the campaign. Some of Potter County's sons are buried here in known graves, and undoubtedly some in unknown graves.

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 Last Update November 22, 2011

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