An almost forgotten mass Union grave site in Shenandoah Valley

NH Civil War Gal

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#1
I'm looking for something I read about last summer and should have marked it but didn't. I've been looking like crazy through all my magazines but can't find it.

Somewhere, I believe in the Shenandoah valley, there was a small battle or skirmish. This was written about in either Civil War Times or Civil War Monitor, but for some reason I'm leaning towards the Times. The author was documenting a grave site that wasn't marked but was a mass burial of about 20 or so Union soldiers that is all overgrown now and is getting forgotten.

Does anyone remember this article and/or knows where it is? I didn't know if any work is being done now to commerate the action that took place and to put a marker up.
 

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#2
I don't know about this one, but I don't doubt its existence. I imagine your answer will come up pretty soon. I know of one such site right here in my home town (there's a good chance those bodies were later moved to a military cemetery.) I expect similar sites are located in every state where battles were fought or troops were billeted.
 
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#5
I'm looking for something I read about last summer and should have marked it but didn't. I've been looking like crazy through all my magazines but can't find it.

Somewhere, I believe in the Shenandoah valley, there was a small battle or skirmish. This was written about in either Civil War Times or Civil War Monitor, but for some reason I'm leaning towards the Times. The author was documenting a grave site that wasn't marked but was a mass burial of about 20 or so Union soldiers that is all overgrown now and is getting forgotten.

Does anyone remember this article and/or knows where it is? I didn't know if any work is being done now to commerate the action that took place and to put a marker up.
This it ? https://www.grandforksherald.com/ne...s-soldiers-killed-157-years-ago-during-battle
 

NH Civil War Gal

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#7
I FOUND IT!!!

It is in the June 2018 Civil War Times - An article called "Battlefield Homestead" by Peter Svenson.

"From time to time, people ask me if I have ever seen ghosts on the battlefield. No fewer than 150 , and possibly as many as 350 men, Union and Confederate, perished here on that fatal Sunday. Death struck each soldier, here as in any other battle, in a straightforward way. The trajectory of a piece of metal ended upon a target of flesh, the odds of a good aim and bad luck coinciding perfectly. For the soldiers who looked death in the face and died, the experience could not have ended without a metaphysical transformation of some sort."

"The battle of Cross Keys (June 8, 1862) took place near by and on part of the homestead. He writes, "......There are Union mass graves on the Cross Keys battlefield, but no one knows precisely where. A likely location may be not more than 100 feet from our new house. In the aftermath of Civil War battles, mass graves were dug with shovels and corpses were covered with less than two feet of earth.... Given the passage of time, it seemed odd that treasure hunters had neither discovered nor plundered the mass graves at Cross Keys. Whatever the reason, far more than a century has passed, and nobody has stumbled upon the evidence. Once in a great while, sheer forgetfulness accounts for the survival of places and things. In this case, the abandoned Union dead were thrown together in unmarked ditches, their final camouflage as unknown soldiers, and are still resting there."

Has anyone been there? Are there any preservation societies involved?
 
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#8
I FOUND IT!!!

It is in the June 2018 Civil War Times - An article called "Battlefield Homestead" by Peter Svenson.

"From time to time, people ask me if I have ever seen ghosts on the battlefield. No fewer than 150 , and possibly as many as 350 men, Union and Confederate, perished here on that fatal Sunday. Death struck each soldier, here as in any other battle, in a straightforward way. The trajectory of a piece of metal ended upon a target of flesh, the odds of a good aim and bad luck coinciding perfectly. For the soldiers who looked death in the face and died, the experience could not have ended without a metaphysical transformation of some sort."

"The battle of Cross Keys (June 8, 1862) took place near by and on part of the homestead. He writes, "......There are Union mass graves on the Cross Keys battlefield, but no one knows precisely where. A likely location may be not more than 100 feet from our new house. In the aftermath of Civil War battles, mass graves were dug with shovels and corpses were covered with less than two feet of earth.... Given the passage of time, it seemed odd that treasure hunters had neither discovered nor plundered the mass graves at Cross Keys. Whatever the reason, far more than a century has passed, and nobody has stumbled upon the evidence. Once in a great while, sheer forgetfulness accounts for the survival of places and things. In this case, the abandoned Union dead were thrown together in unmarked ditches, their final camouflage as unknown soldiers, and are still resting there."

Has anyone been there? Are there any preservation societies involved?
I was there re
I FOUND IT!!!

It is in the June 2018 Civil War Times - An article called "Battlefield Homestead" by Peter Svenson.

"From time to time, people ask me if I have ever seen ghosts on the battlefield. No fewer than 150 , and possibly as many as 350 men, Union and Confederate, perished here on that fatal Sunday. Death struck each soldier, here as in any other battle, in a straightforward way. The trajectory of a piece of metal ended upon a target of flesh, the odds of a good aim and bad luck coinciding perfectly. For the soldiers who looked death in the face and died, the experience could not have ended without a metaphysical transformation of some sort."

"The battle of Cross Keys (June 8, 1862) took place near by and on part of the homestead. He writes, "......There are Union mass graves on the Cross Keys battlefield, but no one knows precisely where. A likely location may be not more than 100 feet from our new house. In the aftermath of Civil War battles, mass graves were dug with shovels and corpses were covered with less than two feet of earth.... Given the passage of time, it seemed odd that treasure hunters had neither discovered nor plundered the mass graves at Cross Keys. Whatever the reason, far more than a century has passed, and nobody has stumbled upon the evidence. Once in a great while, sheer forgetfulness accounts for the survival of places and things. In this case, the abandoned Union dead were thrown together in unmarked ditches, their final camouflage as unknown soldiers, and are still resting there."

Has anyone been there? Are there any preservation societies involved?
I was there recently and took a few photos. Here is the link. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/cross-keys-battlefield-virginia.154141/#post-1976888
 
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#11
If they haven't been found by now I'm going to assume they are on private property somewhere
I don't know the story behind them at all, but I'd guess it's a near certainty that the mass grave is on private property. The one that I know of that I referenced in post #2 is on private property--if the remains are still there. I have decided to go on a mission about my local case. It will take some time--likely a lot of time.
 

Ole Miss

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#12
Eerie similar to the lost Confederate Burial Trenches at Shiloh. Supposedly there were 12 known trenches at one time but over the years the locations have been lost though it is rumored the Park knows the locations of a couple of trenches but they may be on private land. Regardless, anywhere one goes in the Park today may have been or continues to be the grave of a forgotten soldier.
Regards
David
 
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#16
I FOUND IT!!!

It is in the June 2018 Civil War Times - An article called "Battlefield Homestead" by Peter Svenson.

"From time to time, people ask me if I have ever seen ghosts on the battlefield. No fewer than 150 , and possibly as many as 350 men, Union and Confederate, perished here on that fatal Sunday. Death struck each soldier, here as in any other battle, in a straightforward way. The trajectory of a piece of metal ended upon a target of flesh, the odds of a good aim and bad luck coinciding perfectly. For the soldiers who looked death in the face and died, the experience could not have ended without a metaphysical transformation of some sort."

"The battle of Cross Keys (June 8, 1862) took place near by and on part of the homestead. He writes, "......There are Union mass graves on the Cross Keys battlefield, but no one knows precisely where. A likely location may be not more than 100 feet from our new house. In the aftermath of Civil War battles, mass graves were dug with shovels and corpses were covered with less than two feet of earth.... Given the passage of time, it seemed odd that treasure hunters had neither discovered nor plundered the mass graves at Cross Keys. Whatever the reason, far more than a century has passed, and nobody has stumbled upon the evidence. Once in a great while, sheer forgetfulness accounts for the survival of places and things. In this case, the abandoned Union dead were thrown together in unmarked ditches, their final camouflage as unknown soldiers, and are still resting there."

Has anyone been there? Are there any preservation societies involved?
Glad you found it. I almost never do, years later stumble across it in some book I didn't think it would be in. You may like the book "Battlefield" by Peter Svenson he buys a farm at Cross Keys. It won't answer all your questions but it has good pictures and is a good read.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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#17
I tried to order it from the library and they don't have it at all. So I just bought it used from Amazon - a total of 5 bucks and change with shipping. In fact, the shipping was more than the book.

What happens when these graves are found on private property? I know each state is different. In NH, graves are considered public property. So for example, if you have a farm with a private cemetery on it, that doesn't have any association with you, you must allow access to any descendents or groups to honor them for Memorial Day (1812, DAR, GAR, etc).

Not that I want to force anyone who owns the farm but it seems a shame that there is no commeration of the graves of these men, north or south.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#19
Whoa. We sure are missing something that graves are not marked, wish it were possible. Flip side can be when men are moved although that's just opinion. You know what I mean, a soldier found at Gettysburg or somewhere will be reinterred after over 150 years at rest. Killed during this momentous moment in our history, buried then, moved now- always seems so odd and maybe a shame.

Public access report on Virginia battlefields, from the 1990's although can't find anything on burials. Bet era accounts would have something on where they were, too.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015034872856;view=1up;seq=97
 

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