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Excellent Article On Post War Reburials Of War Dead, Union And Confederate

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by JPK Huson 1863, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    gbd rose farm.JPG
    From the uber famous Elliot Map, a snip encompassing nearly 1,000 Confederate graves between the Rose Farm and Weikert's, one example of war's distance orphaned graves. Thousands to be brought home- found an article which was awfully helpful. Have a thread ( several ) here on CWT, on Gettysburg Dead, article is comprehensive on battles through the war.

    Researching an awfully long thread on identifying Gettysburg Dead sent to Magnolia Cemetery, South Carolina's final resting place for men lost at Gettysburg. ( maybe tomorrow ) came across the best ' synopsis ' I've ever seen on the entire, war-long topic. War dead from 1861 through the last of the 1865 fighting, brought home. I say ' synopisis ' but it's lengthy enough to bypass the word.

    It was a horrific problem, not knowing where one's loved was buried or perhaps you did but he was so far away, you lacked the ability to bring him home. Worse, life galloped along literally over the heads of long rows of men, buried where they fell on fields of battle scant months old. Commerce played a part, as at Gettyburg- tourists exclaimed at sights we all know well, unaware men lay beneath that ground. Those making money from the tourists sure knew.

    Our family still has five unmarked graves. One is marked in cemetery records, thankfully- three are unknowns at Gettysburg. We at least know that, one an unknown at Shiloh although he was sure marked when buried and we cannot seem to get anyone to look at the military letter stating this. Another, an X on a map at Goose Creek, Virginia, a page in a soldier's journal on display in Gettysburg College's Special Collections. But none came home.

    That there was an effort, quite a few efforts, bringing sons husbands, fathers, brothers and uncles home to loved ones? Priceless evidence of compassion at so many levels, it gives you hope. Anyway, cool article.


    https://erenow.com/ww/this-republic-of-suffering-death-and-the-american-civil-war/8.html
     

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  3. bdtex

    bdtex Brigadier General Moderator

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    Long article too. Went through some this morning. More later hopefully. I have seen much of that information in other sources.
     
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  4. Michael W.

    Michael W. First Sergeant

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    I hate it when I want to read articles here but have to go to work. I'll catch it later this evening...:bye:
     
  5. connecticut yankee

    connecticut yankee Corporal

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    There is similar plus much additional information on burials and post Civil War reburials in Drew Gilpin Faust's excellent book : This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. Based on her best-selling book, the following 2 hour film explores how the American Civil War created a "republic of suffering" and charts the far-reaching social, political, and spiritual changes brought about by the pervasive presence and fear of death during the Civil War.

     
  6. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    The article actually is from Faust's book. It's Chapter 7 of her book This Republic of Suffering. I'm surprised they allowed an entire chapter to be posted from her book.
     
  7. Samwisep86

    Samwisep86 Corporal

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    That is a profoundly powerful map, which always brings home 2 things to me when I view it:
    1.) the inconceivable death wrought during one day of fighting in the Wheatfield, Little Round Top, Devils Den, and the Triangular Field.
    2.) the horror and destruction wrought on normal people's homes such as the Roses and the Weikerts. Imagine coming home to your house and there are dead bodies everywhere: in your house, in your garden, and in your fields (your only income for the year destroyed). No wonder many of them left Gettysburg not long afterward.
     
  8. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger 2nd Lieutenant

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    I'm going to watch this later. Thanks for posting.
     
  9. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Right? The Elliot Map has always, always flattened me. Remember seeing it for the first time and assuming all the little lines were just an artist shading areas. ' 500 dead ', ' 400 dead '- the numbers!

    Yes, if you read the Gettysburg papers, post battle, pretty striking how many farms were for sale. Well, who knows, some may have been forced to financially? I know crops were ruined, homes damaged, barns in shambles, no one was ever compensated by the government.
     
  10. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Is it? Thank you, all of you for the head's up- somehow managed to miss that! Would have cited it. It's now headed for the Kindle, too, be sure.
     
  11. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger 2nd Lieutenant

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    I also have this one in my reading pile, JPK. It will surely be an interesting read, and the video posted above gives a lot of insight, too. It's quite traumatic to hear some of the stories, and outcomes.
    This is hard to believe, that these people were forced to repair the damage, or manage the situation themselves without any help from the government. I had no idea that they weren't offered any support in the circumstances. And to think of the awful aftermath with regard to the dead, and the tragedy that lay on their doorstep. It isn't a wonder some people decided to move on.
     
  12. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    It just says to me that courage and devotion are more than amply in evidence by way of such a map.
     
  13. Hawkeye Brehm

    Hawkeye Brehm Sergeant

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    Faust's book was assigned reading for a Civil War course I took (albeit briefly) in college a few years back. Though I didn't finish the course (due to being told to "not speak" during class because I was making the professor "look bad"), I did read Faust's excellent book in the weeks leading up to the class. Talk about engaging and thorough research! The accompanying video was awesome as well. I loved her analysis of the Victorian era's view of a "good death", and how those living through the Civil War dealt with not being able to be with their loved ones at the time of death.

    I love the Elliot map, by the way. I have a thing for beautiful maps that rivals my affection for women in hoop skirts (I blame reading Treasure Island when I was 5), and the Elliot map is right up there. It really gives a sense of the carnage in terms of where casualties occurred, and I personally can't begin to fathom being a property owner coming home to find all these rotting corpses in my yard. Heck, I could hardly stand coming across a dead bird when I was mowing my parents' lawn! :tongue:
     
  14. E_just_E

    E_just_E Moderator Moderator

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    A couple of shots from their final resting place at Magnolia Cemetery in SC, for completeness' sake:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Samwisep86

    Samwisep86 Corporal

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    IIRC affected families did file claims against the gov't for the damages wrought on their homesteads and some did compensation. I've seen the claims on file at GMNP. Problem was that it was largely nominal compensation, and that it took several years to process. For example, in 1868, Basil Biggs (who owned what is now known as the Peter Frey farm) received $1,356 for damages caused by the battle. Most families, however, could not wait 3 years to get the claim awarded.
     
  16. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain

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    Yep, it is. I started reading it and thought to myself, I've read this before!

    It's a great book about a horrible topic. I listened to it on Audible, then bought the book and read it. Extremely informative and well researched. Hope more can read it. If they can't, I think the PBS doc is a good substitute as I thought it was well done as well.
     
  17. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Thank you! Yes, it is an awful topic? Little stuck on it, probably since it hit me how many, many men just, plain never came home- for some reason it just got to me- so began looking around. Bumped into The Gettysburg Dead, the Weavers, realized it was the tip of a wrenching iceberg. Really appreciate the head's up on this book, as tough as it'll be to get through. Audible just lets you read all day long, while working!
     
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  18. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Best image I've encountered of Magnolia? Most concentrate solely on the memorial, which is great ( anyone who waited until 1871 to get your son back, killed in 1863, would build a memorial to the sky, North or South ). It's far more striking with war graves leading your eye towards it.
     
  19. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Did Basil Biggs, of all men, receive a check? How cool is that? The African American population of Gettysburg took such a hit through those days, if anyone was to be compensated, you'd like to hear Basil made the list. Plus- cannot imagine what we owe him by way of our cemetery. What an awful, necessary job.

    All the churches together received only 500- to split. Yes, should have said nominal, sorry- but had read some farmers received nothing at all for crops? If that is incorrect, happy to be incorrect! In fact, much happier thinking they received something. Even waiting 3 years, it was compensated- had been under the impression dead losses were suffered so thank you!
     
  20. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Without at all wishing to burst a romantic bubble, ( and honest, sorry! ) a lot of men of the era just hated the stuffing out of hoops/crinolines, how funny is that? They thought them intrusive, took up too much room, and you were prevented getting anywhere near one's wife/sweetheart. Also a huge point of contention because so many deaths occurred as a result- just newspaper accounts, no personal ax here.

    The Elliot map is indeed beyond poignant- LoC has it along with its genesis, who Elliot was and his surveyors. Those little comma shapes are dead horses- by the time Elliot did this, some had to have already been burned. As aid workers came into Gettysburg they spoke of great bonfires, dead horses being burned over the battlefield. Still so many, we just cannot imagine. The smell of them rotting was to great, you could smell Gettysburg miles before seeing it. Cannot imagine what Elliot experienced while surveying for this piece of awful history.
     
  21. jay gale

    jay gale First Sergeant

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    man, talk about powerful.

    I've walked that ground detailed on the Elliott Map. I knew about the graves but didn't know the magnitude of them. Gives me a chill just thinking about it.
     

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