At Stones River National Cemetery there is the earliest archectual memorial to Civil War Soldier. Haden's Brigade stood their ground & as the sunset December 31, 1862, Hazen's men had not taken a step back. Their fallen were gathered & laid together in a soldier's grave by their comrades.
Inside the wall, it would appear that the men of the 41st Ohio were laid to rest with headstones to mark their place. These stones do not mark the burials of any man. The open space along side the monument continues across to the other side. The fallen of Hazen's Brigade lie where their comrades put them on the first days of 1863.
Outside the southern wall, immediately behind where I stood to take the image above are two headstones. They belong to Sergeant William Holland 111 United States Colored Infantry & his son. In late 1864, the 111th was tasked with going out 50 miles & collecting the remains of Union troops lost during the campaigns in Middle Tennessee. Sergeant Holland is the exemplar of what the the men inside the wall were fighting for.
Sergeant Holland became the first head grounds keeper of the cemetery. He purchased the land next to the cemetery & was buried in his turn in his own land.
In another threat on this forum, we have been discussing the stand the 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry made at Franklin. After the Battle, the Union dead were gathered & laid in the ditch where the parapet was pushed down over them. After Hood's bloodied remnant fled South, members of the 111th Ohio disinterred their men & put them into individual graves. Every man had a wooden marker. Sergeant Holland & his comrades of the 111th USCI brought the remains to section I in the southeast corner of the cemetery. In this image, the headstone of a member of Stokes Tennessee Cavalry is in stark contrast with the row on row of small square stones that mark the graves of the unknown.
In column, the men of the 111th Ohio lie in peace with their comrades. All around them are anonymous comrades who destroyed the last great hope of the Confederacy at Franklin. There is something deeply satisfying about the care given to the 111th Ohioans by the self-liberated men of the 111th. Totally by chance, the dead of the 111th USCTI are largely interred on the northern flank of the cemetery. The men of the 111ths guarding the flanks into eternity, what can we say about that?