Elliott Map's Singular Graves, Naming The Dead Amidst So Many- Why?

JPK Huson 1863

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Central Pennsylvania
el longstreet.JPG

One of the most horrifically stark portions of S.G. Elliott's 1864 map of Gettysburg's aftermath. All the IIIIIII's? Not shading by an artist, they're " rebel " graves on the battlefiels. ttttttt, would be Union graves.

When the National Cemetery at Gettysburg was dedicated in November, 1863 it was just dedicated, not completed. The gruesome work disinterring and reinterring-( nice way to say " Finding dead soldiers, digging them up all over the battlefield and moving them to the National Cemetery " ) was on-going. FAR too long to get into, The Elliot Map was also completed in 1864. The thing is, Elliott himself was nowhere near Gettysburg in time to observe any Union graves in their original spots. Confederate graves sure- they were untouched except by Weaver's examinations until 1870 or so.

Sorry, long way around to get to a question, or at least ask for opinions. It's coming, swear!

Key, to reading the map. In some places and you can guess where, those IIIIII and tttttt look like shading, they're so densely packed.
el map key.JPG

Oddest part about the Elliot Map ( opinion ) would be the dead horses? That they would be included at all seems odd, it's that there seems not-many compared to what we know. ( off thread, just find it odd ) He did manage to scatter them around Meade's HQ though, don't ask me why I find that entertaining, maybe because the famous photograph had already made the rounds?
el horses meade hq.JPG




It was a horrendous job. Samuel Weaver reported it was sometimes a matter of removing as much of a man's remains as was possible. You know that list of objects you can read, things found on those men? Watches, photos, coins? Weaver, Sr,had a kind of hand-made tool he used. Men's remains had lain under the soil for a scant few months remember yet Weaver had to make a meticulous list of what was found with the hence that tool. He used it, a long stick with a hook, to reach into pockets and retrieve personal items. By the 1870's his son Dr. Rufus Weaver perform the same kind of office for Confederate men, using his father's records. Southern mothers, daughters and wives wanted their fallen home.

Part of Weaver, Sr.'s original report, LoC and a few other places.
weaver bodies.jpg


So take a look at The Elliot Map. Finished by 1864 it's a result of painstaking survey, the old, chain measure survey and records scoured from locals and those who were there. S. G. Elliot himself is a long and not always terrific story. Whatever the case, he somehow collected maps created at the time of the battle, showing locations of graves around weeks post battle, surveyed the ground and left us this crazy record. He simply could not have done it without Weaver, Basil Biggs or any of those contracted by David Wills as part of the cemetery project.

My money is on Dr. O'Neil for some of Simon G. Elliot's information. He made absolutely no secret of his Southern sympathies and had only been in town a few months. His account of the battle is riveting, too- spent most of it out treating wounded and got himself captured ( and released ). What's interesting is he seems to have been left out of the conversation despite stating himself that he kept a careful record during and after the battle of each Confederate grave he came across. How many of the " I " on this map do we owe to Dr, O'Neil and did Samuel Weaver, before Elliot?

The entire map is far too long to get into. What I want to know is why specific names, nearly always those of Confederate men, are painstakingly transcribed along with the locations of their original graves? @lelliott19 , any idea? Asking you because you're good with Georgia regiments, any names stand out please?

Here. " W.R. Bulley, Co. H, 4th Georgia, Lt. K.J. Grannes, Georgia ( regiment not marked ), Lt. R.A. Oursler, 11th Mississippi, Lt. Winn, 4th Georgia, E.T.Covey. 4th Georgia, Lt. Michuen, 13th Georgia

el bulley 4th ga.JPG
el granne ga.JPG

el oursler 11th mississippi.JPG

el winn covey law 4thga michuen 13 ga.JPG

Names of men who were notable or were these graves found and marked by Doc O'Neil during the battle and the days afterwards? Did he insist they be included? For all the " I " and " t " why are these men's grave made notes of? Just a question, it's baffling, that's all. Like I said, long way around to get to the question but it's frequently tough when there's SO much behind the question, you know?

Also REALLY recommend a look at the Elliot Map if anyone's missed it- tough to see but worth it. Anyone with a relative either buried in the National Cemetery OR whose relative died at Gettysburg and is now In Richmond or elsewhere in the South, might find an idea of where they were originally buried.

https://www.loc.gov/item/99447501/
 

A. Roy

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Names of men who were notable or were these graves found and marked by Doc O'Neil during the battle and the days afterwards? Did he insist they be included? For all the " I " and " t " why are these men's grave made notes of? Just a question, it's baffling, that's all. Like I said, long way around to get to the question but it's frequently tough when there's SO much behind the question, you know?

I've been looking at this map in connection with research into the unknowns of Iverson's Brigade from Gettysburg. I had noticed that some names were noted on the Elliott map, but hadn't really thought about why that would be. If Elliott was working from previous surveys, he might have just transcribed names that others had noted on their maps. Some are noted as officers, but not all.

One example on the segments you show here is "W.R. Butley, Co.H 4Ga.," which seems to correspond to William R. Butler of that same company, KIA on 1 July 1863. If this is the same person, he was a corporal, although that's not noted on the map. (Source: Krick and Ferguson, Gettysburg's Confederate Dead)

I understand that in the case of field burials, comrades sometimes placed a wooden marker with the soldier's name on it. So maybe these named burials were based on markers that remained on the field after the battle.

As far as the horses, that's an interesting question! I wonder whether this was done to save disinterment crews the trouble of digging up dead horses...

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

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John S. Carter

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View attachment 369409
One of the most horrifically stark portions of S.G. Elliott's 1864 map of Gettysburg's aftermath. All the IIIIIII's? Not shading by an artist, they're " rebel " graves on the battlefiels. ttttttt, would be Union graves.

When the National Cemetery at Gettysburg was dedicated in November, 1863 it was just dedicated, not completed. The gruesome work disinterring and reinterring-( nice way to say " Finding dead soldiers, digging them up all over the battlefield and moving them to the National Cemetery " ) was on-going. FAR too long to get into, The Elliot Map was also completed in 1864. The thing is, Elliott himself was nowhere near Gettysburg in time to observe any Union graves in their original spots. Confederate graves sure- they were untouched except by Weaver's examinations until 1870 or so.

Sorry, long way around to get to a question, or at least ask for opinions. It's coming, swear!

Key, to reading the map. In some places and you can guess where, those IIIIII and tttttt look like shading, they're so densely packed.
View attachment 369408
Oddest part about the Elliot Map ( opinion ) would be the dead horses? That they would be included at all seems odd, it's that there seems not-many compared to what we know. ( off thread, just find it odd ) He did manage to scatter them around Meade's HQ though, don't ask me why I find that entertaining, maybe because the famous photograph had already made the rounds?
View attachment 369410



It was a horrendous job. Samuel Weaver reported it was sometimes a matter of removing as much of a man's remains as was possible. You know that list of objects you can read, things found on those men? Watches, photos, coins? Weaver, Sr,had a kind of hand-made tool he used. Men's remains had lain under the soil for a scant few months remember yet Weaver had to make a meticulous list of what was found with the hence that tool. He used it, a long stick with a hook, to reach into pockets and retrieve personal items. By the 1870's his son Dr. Rufus Weaver perform the same kind of office for Confederate men, using his father's records. Southern mothers, daughters and wives wanted their fallen home.

Part of Weaver, Sr.'s original report, LoC and a few other places.
View attachment 369407

So take a look at The Elliot Map. Finished by 1864 it's a result of painstaking survey, the old, chain measure survey and records scoured from locals and those who were there. S. G. Elliot himself is a long and not always terrific story. Whatever the case, he somehow collected maps created at the time of the battle, showing locations of graves around weeks post battle, surveyed the ground and left us this crazy record. He simply could not have done it without Weaver, Basil Biggs or any of those contracted by David Wills as part of the cemetery project.

My money is on Dr. O'Neil for some of Simon G. Elliot's information. He made absolutely no secret of his Southern sympathies and had only been in town a few months. His account of the battle is riveting, too- spent most of it out treating wounded and got himself captured ( and released ). What's interesting is he seems to have been left out of the conversation despite stating himself that he kept a careful record during and after the battle of each Confederate grave he came across. How many of the " I " on this map do we owe to Dr, O'Neil and did Samuel Weaver, before Elliot?

The entire map is far too long to get into. What I want to know is why specific names, nearly always those of Confederate men, are painstakingly transcribed along with the locations of their original graves? @lelliott19 , any idea? Asking you because you're good with Georgia regiments, any names stand out please?

Here. " W.R. Bulley, Co. H, 4th Georgia, Lt. K.J. Grannes, Georgia ( regiment not marked ), Lt. R.A. Oursler, 11th Mississippi, Lt. Winn, 4th Georgia, E.T.Covey. 4th Georgia, Lt. Michuen, 13th Georgia

View attachment 369403View attachment 369404
View attachment 369405
View attachment 369406
Names of men who were notable or were these graves found and marked by Doc O'Neil during the battle and the days afterwards? Did he insist they be included? For all the " I " and " t " why are these men's grave made notes of? Just a question, it's baffling, that's all. Like I said, long way around to get to the question but it's frequently tough when there's SO much behind the question, you know?

Also REALLY recommend a look at the Elliot Map if anyone's missed it- tough to see but worth it. Anyone with a relative either buried in the National Cemetery OR whose relative died at Gettysburg and is now In Richmond or elsewhere in the South, might find an idea of where they were originally buried.

https://www.loc.gov/item/99447501/
I did not know that there was a Confederate cemetery there. I thought that there may have been a mass area that was not marked except a post,indicating that this was were they had placed the dead Confederates.Grave diggers may have been instructed just to bury them where they laid was another.Did families come to take their dead after they were buried or leave them.A question is what if any part did Southern families or states contribute to this?Dan Sickles ,General Quick Move ,used his political cham to aid in establishment of this cemetery for this was his place for history.
 

Tom Elmore

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I know Colonel Joseph Wasden's (22nd Georgia) grave adjacent to the Codori buildings was well marked. He was buried by fellow Masons from the 2nd Rhode Island on July 4, while they were under a skirmish fire. I believe they set up a headboard carved with his name along with a Masonic symbol.

Lt. Col. David R. C. Winn of the 4th Georgia and Private Josiah B. Law of Company B were buried close by to each other on the Blocher farm. Both sites were still well marked as of 1866. Presumably many other headboard carvings (or rather, remarks in pencil) were rapidly rendered illegible due to weathering.

1st Lt. W. R. Oursler was actually with Company F of the 17th Mississippi, buried near Warfield's blacksmith shop. His brother of the same company, Sgt. R. A. Oursler may have been buried next to him.

The grave of Lt. Edward J. Grannis of Company B, 2nd Georgia Battalion was "neatly prepared." So again it seems a well-carved headboard was helpful in making it onto Elliott's map.

The body of 2nd Lt. R. W. Meacham of Company B, 13th Georgia was buried in the Almshouse burial ground, where it undoubtedly received special attention.
 
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Gettysburg Guide #154

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JPK Huson 1863 has given us all an excellent and thoughtful post. While many of us may have thought of one or two of her questions over the years, I doubt that many have given them as much reflection. I for one appreciate the time she took to put this post together. Well done!

To John S Carter I would like to ask what role he believed Dan Sickles played in the establishment of the Gettysburg National Cemetery? Congressman Sickles was indeed one of the sponsors of the bill that established the Gettysburg National Military Park in 1895. However, I have never seen a reference to him in connection with the establishment of the cemetery at Gettysburg, which was, in a way, misnamed when it called itself a "National" cemetery at the time of its origin in 1863. It was established, and all initial costs were paid by, the 18 Northern States who had units at Gettysburg. As part of a measure to meet the after battle crisis of decaying bodies that had been placed in shallow graves, which were washing out with each rain storm, Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin authorized Gettysburg Attorney David Wills to purchase land for a cemetery to bury the Pennsylvania dead. When governors of other Northern States learned of the idea, they too wanted to participate. A group was formed with representatives from each of the participating states, with Wills as its chairman. The states paid the cost of purchasing the land, landscaping the grounds and reinterring the Union dead in the new cemetery. The cost was appropriated according to the size of each states' congressional delegation.

The original official name was the "Soldiers National Cemetery". It continued to be administered and paid for by the various states. For example, the wall that was erected in 1864 was a cost paid by the states. However, in 1872 the Soldiers National Cemetery was transferred to the federal government and became part of the National Cemetery System under the War Department. It was at that time that the name officially became the "Gettysburg National Cemetery" so as to distinguish it from the other cemeteries with that system. The War Department continued to administer the National Cemetery System until 1933 when that responsibility was transferred to the National Park Service.
 
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Gettysburg Guide #154

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This is a side note, but on one episode of Finding Your Roots, they show African American actress Anna Deavere Smith that one of her ancestors was the black man who got the government contract to dig up and reinter the dead at Gettysburg. https://mass.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/fyr14.socst.us.basil/basil-biggs-true-american-hero/
I try to watch that program, but I think I missed that episode. Biggs and his crew of 8 to 10 African Americans did not have the primary contract, rather they had a sort of sub-contract with Frank Biesecker. At $1.59 Biesecker's was the low bid among 34 bids received by David Wills for the work of moving the Union bodies to the new cemetery. Biggs' crew did the grim work of disinterring and placing of the bodies into coffins, while an all white crew put the coffins with the bodies into the new graves. I don't have information on how much Biggs' crew was paid.
 

rpkennedy

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I know Colonel Joseph Wasden's (22nd Georgia) grave adjacent to the Codori buildings was well marked. He was buried by fellow Masons from the 2nd Rhode Island on July 4, while they were under a skirmish fire. I believe they set up a headboard carved with his name along with a Masonic symbol.

They did indeed.

Ryan
 

rpkennedy

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The entire map is far too long to get into. What I want to know is why specific names, nearly always those of Confederate men, are painstakingly transcribed along with the locations of their original graves? @lelliott19 , any idea? Asking you because you're good with Georgia regiments, any names stand out please?

By 1864, some (but not all) of the identified Union burials had already been reinterred elsewhere, either the bodies were sent home or reburied in the National Cemetery. So when Elliott did his survey, the Confederate graves would have been the ones that were relatively untouched allowing him to identify those graves that had been given their own headboards.

Ryan
 

A. Roy

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Discipulus

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You can access it through Google Books, maybe other sources, too. It's part of a long document, but Weaver's brief report can be found on page 1261. This link might lead you directly to that page:

https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=Ajo1AQAAMAAJ&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA1261
That was it perfectly. Thank you.

Do you think other documents such as these exist for other disinterments and reinterments into other national cemeteries, in example Chalmette Nat. Cemetery in New Orleans? I have found the Quartermaster Corps ledgers, but testimonies or written reports would be most helpful.
 

A. Roy

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Its been years since I did it but there are high quality scans online (maybe LOC). I saved the file and uploaded to an online printing service (like Winkflash). Printed a poster size copy for $10.

I like this idea, as I prefer working with a hard-copy map. One difficulty is getting it printed out at the right scale. I guess one solution would be just to create a new scale based on the size of the print-out.

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

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Do you think other documents such as these exist for other disinterments and reinterments into other national cemeteries, in example Chalmette Nat. Cemetery in New Orleans? I have found the Quartermaster Corps ledgers, but testimonies or written reports would be most helpful.

I kind of have that same question. I'm trying to track down records and correspondence for a specific set of Gettysburg KIAs. For that reason, I had previously located Weaver's report. I'm especially interested in letters from families trying to locate their loved ones' remains. I've really only just gotten started on this research, so I expect to find more.

What have you been able to find in the Quartermaster Corps ledgers? How was that group involved with soldiers' remains?

I wonder whether the national cemeteries each have their own individual archive, or whether those are centralized. The cemetery I'm mostly focused on is the Oakwood Cemetery here in Raleigh, which was start by on of the ladies' associations and remains in the care of a non-profit organization. I expect to be able to get into their archives pretty soon (complicated right now by the pandemic).

Roy B.
 
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