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Learning Something New

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by kevikens, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. kevikens

    kevikens 2nd Lieutenant

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    Sometimes I think I know all there is to know about the Civil War, actually something impossible, but... . Anyway I picked up a book recently, Military Service Records at the National Archives (Reference Information Paper 109) compiled in 2007 by Trevor Plante. I learned three things. The first many of you may know, which I did not, was that the US federal Government eventually paid pensions to surviving Confederate soldiers and their widows. OK, it was rather late, 1959, but still I did not know that. I knew that former Confederate states did pay pensions to indigent Confederate soldiers and widows but so too did Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma. The big surprise was discovering that the US Government approved permanent Confederate tombstones for Confederate soldiers who wound up being buried in national cemeteries and a few year later for them interred at private cemeteries, with slight differences. Confederate tombstones, of the same size as the Union headstones, did not have the Union Shield and were to be given pointed tops as opposed to the Union stones which had rounded ones. A shout out to my wife who spotted this book at a flea market for fifty cents and knew a good buy when she spotted one..
     

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  3. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    did not know about the tombstones always good to learn something new thank you
     
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  4. kevikens

    kevikens 2nd Lieutenant

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    I have visited many national cemeteries and never paid attention to the shape of the tombstones. I wish I had known that earlier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 7:40 AM
  5. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    The legend is the Confederate tombstones are pointed on top so wicked Yankees won't sit on them.
     
  6. mofederal

    mofederal Corporal

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    Yes all Confederate veterans are considered us veterans, hence the headstones, and other government benefits. All are long dead, but the pensions were given out for a long time. We are one nation, despite what is said today.
     
  7. kevikens

    kevikens 2nd Lieutenant

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    That is a comforting sentiment and although I did not first think of it that way, Confederate veterans being considered US veterans, I most heartily agree and will keep that in mind in discussions.
     
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  8. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    The 1958 U.S. Public Law 85-425, did not make Confederate veterans United States veterans. The law made them eligible for certain VA benefits as Federal soldiers were entitled to, under section 432 of the 1957 Veterans Benefit Act. This has been discussed on many previous threads on CWT.
     
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  9. kevikens

    kevikens 2nd Lieutenant

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    OK, something else I did not know, the previous threads dealing with this. Still, it seems just that they get to have their own kind of tombstones at the National cemeteries.
     
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  10. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Yes, they did get their own headstones but that did not make them a United States veteran. Notice the definition of "veteran" in the act does not say "United States veteran."

    38 U.S. Code § 2306 - Headstones, markers, and burial receptacles

    (a) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, appropriate Government headstones or markers at the expense of the United States for the unmarked graves of the following:
    (1)
    Any individual buried in a national cemetery or in a post cemetery.
    (2)
    Any individual eligible for burial in a national cemetery (but not buried there), except for those persons or classes of persons enumerated in section 2402(a)(4), (5), and (6) of this title.
    (3)
    Soldiers of the Union and Confederate Armies of the Civil War.
    (4)
    Any individual described in section 2402(a)(5) of this title who is buried in a veterans’ cemetery owned by a State.
    (5)
    Any individual who at the time of death was entitled to retired pay under chapter 1223 of title 10 or would have been entitled to retired pay under that chapter but for the fact that the person was under 60 years of age.
    (b)
    (1)
    The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an appropriate memorial headstone or marker for the purpose of commemorating an eligible individual whose remains are unavailable. Such a headstone or marker shall be furnished for placement in a national cemetery area reserved for that purpose under section 2403 of this title, a veterans’ cemetery owned by a State, or, in the case of a veteran, in a State, local, or private cemetery.
    (2) For purposes of paragraph (1), an eligible individual is any of the following:
    (A)
    A veteran.
    (B)
    The spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran.
    (C)
    An eligible dependent child of a veteran.
    (3) For purposes of paragraph (1), the remains of an individual shall be considered to be unavailable if the individual’s remains—
    (A)
    have not been recovered or identified;
    (B)
    were buried at sea, whether by the individual’s own choice or otherwise;
    (C)
    were donated to science; or
    (D)
    were cremated and the ashes scattered without interment of any portion of the ashes.
    (4) For purposes of this subsection:
    (A)
    The term “veteran” includes an individual who dies in the active military, naval, or air service.
    (B)
    The term “surviving spouse” includes a surviving spouse who had a subsequent remarriage.
    (5) For purposes of this section, the term “eligible dependent child” means a child—
    (A)
    who is under 21 years of age, or under 23 years of age if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution; or
    (B)
    who is unmarried and became permanently physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before reaching 21 years of age, or before reaching 23 years of age if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution.
    (c)
    A headstone or marker furnished under subsection (a), (b), or (d) of this section may be of any material, including but not limited to marble, granite, bronze, or slate, requested by the person entitled to request such headstone or marker if the material requested is determined by the Secretary (1) to be cost effective, and (2) in a case in which the headstone or marker is to be placed in a national cemetery, to be aesthetically compatible with the area of the cemetery in which it is to be placed.
    (d)
    (1)
    The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an appropriate Government headstone or marker at the expense of the United States for the grave of an individual described in paragraph (2) or (5) of subsection (a) who is buried in a private cemetery, notwithstanding that the grave is marked by a headstone or marker furnished at private expense. Such a headstone or marker may be furnished only if the individual making the request for the Government headstone or marker certifies to the Secretary that the headstone or marker will be placed on the grave for which the headstone or marker is requested, or, if placement on the grave is impossible or impracticable, as close as possible to the grave within the grounds of the cemetery in which the grave is located.
    (2)
    Any headstone or marker furnished under this subsection shall be delivered by the Secretary directly to the cemetery where the grave is located or to a receiving agent for delivery to the cemetery.
    (3)
    The headstone or marker furnished under this subsection shall be the headstone or marker selected by the individual making the request from among all the headstones and markers made available by the Government for selection.
    (4)
    (A)
    In lieu of furnishing a headstone or marker under this subsection to a deceased individual described in subparagraph (B), the Secretary may furnish, upon request, a medallion or other device of a design determined by the Secretary to signify the deceased individual’s status as a veteran, to be attached to a headstone or marker furnished at private expense.
    (B) A deceased individual described in this subsection is an individual who—
    (i)
    served in the Armed Forces on or after April 6, 1917; and
    (ii)
    is eligible for a headstone or marker furnished under paragraph (1) (or would be so eligible but for the date of the death of the individual).
    (5)
    (A)
    In carrying out this subsection with respect to a deceased individual described in subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall furnish, upon request, a headstone or marker under paragraph (1) or a medallion under paragraph (4) that signifies the deceased’s status as a medal of honor recipient.
    (B)
    If the Secretary furnished a headstone, marker, or medallion under paragraph (1) or (4) for a deceased individual described in subparagraph (C) that does not signify the deceased’s status as a medal of honor recipient, the Secretary shall, upon request, replace such headstone, marker, or medallion with a headstone, marker, or medallion, as the case may be, that so signifies the deceased’s status as a medal of honor recipient.
    (C) A deceased individual described in this subparagraph is a deceased individual who—
    (i)
    served in the Armed Forces on or after April 6, 1917;
    (ii)
    is eligible for a headstone or marker furnished under paragraph (1) or a medallion furnished under paragraph (4) (or would be so eligible for such headstone, marker, or medallion but for the date of the death of the individual); and
    (iii)
    was awarded the medal of honor under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10or section 491 of title 14 (including posthumously).
    (D)
    In this paragraph, the term “medal of honor recipient” means an individual who is awarded the medal of honor under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10or section 491 of title 14.
    (e)
    (1)
    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall provide an outer burial receptacle for each new grave in an open cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration in which remains are interred in a casket. The Secretary of the Army may provide an outer burial receptacle for such a grave in the Arlington National Cemetery.
    (2)
    The use of outer burial receptacles in a cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration or in the Arlington National Cemetery shall be in accordance with regulations or procedures approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs or Secretary of the Army, respectively.
    (3) Regulations or procedures under paragraph (2) may specify that—
    (A)
    an outer burial receptacle other than a grave liner be provided in lieu of a grave liner at the election of the survivors of the interred veteran; and
    (B) if an outer burial receptacle other than a grave liner is provided in lieu of a grave liner upon an election of such survivors, such survivors be required—
    (i)
    to pay the amount by which the cost of the outer burial receptacle exceeds the cost of the grave liner that would otherwise have been provided in the absence of the election; and
    (ii)
    to pay the amount of the administrative costs incurred by the Secretary (or, with respect to Arlington National Cemetery, the Secretary of the Army) in providing the outer burial receptacle in lieu of such grave liner.
    (4)
    Regulations or procedures under paragraph (2) may provide for the use of a voucher system, or other system of reimbursement approved by the Secretary (or, with respect to Arlington National Cemetery, the Secretary of the Army), for payment for outer burial receptacles other than grave liners provided under such regulations or procedures.
    (f) The Secretary may furnish a casket or urn, of such quality as the Secretary considers appropriate for a dignified burial, for burial of a deceased veteran in a national cemetery or in a veterans cemetery of a State or tribal organization for which the Department has provided a grant under section 2408 of this title in any case in which the Secretary—
    (1)
    is unable to identify the veteran’s next of kin, if any; and
    (2)
    determines that sufficient resources for the furnishing of a casket or urn for such burial are not otherwise available.
    (g)
    (1)
    When the Secretary has furnished a headstone or marker under subsection (a) for the unmarked grave of an individual, the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a memorial inscription to that headstone or marker rather than furnishing a separate headstone or marker under that subsection for the surviving spouse or eligible dependent child of such individual.
    (2)
    When the Secretary has furnished a memorial headstone or marker under subsection (b) for purposes of commemorating a veteran or an individual who died in the active military, naval, or air service, the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a memorial inscription to that headstone or marker rather than furnishing a separate memorial headstone or marker under that subsection for the surviving spouse or eligible dependent child of such individual.
    (h)
    (1)
    A headstone or marker may not be furnished under subsection (a) for the unmarked grave of a person described in section 2411(b) of this title.
    (2)
    A memorial headstone or marker may not be furnished under subsection (b) for the purpose of commemorating a person described in section 2411(b) of this title.
    (3)
    A headstone or marker may not be furnished under subsection (d) for the grave of a person described in section 2411(b) of this title.
    (4)
    A casket or urn may not be furnished under subsection (f) for burial of a person described in section 2411(b) of this title.
     
  11. kevikens

    kevikens 2nd Lieutenant

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    I believe you. I was not the poster who pronounced them US Veterans, though I would not be upset if they were. I am just glad that they are deemed worthy of same sized tombstones with the two additional touches to distinguish Union from Confederate soldiers and I am glad the US Government gave then and their widows pensions. Again, no political statement here, just that I did not know this until I read that book.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 12:48 PM
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  12. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    It's a common assertion that the 1958 law "made Confederate veterans U.S. veterans," and people often spin off from that additional arguments that therefore there are federal legal protections for Confederate monuments and grave sites. In fact there are no federal protections for monuments or grave sites (Union, Confederate, or any other) except for those located on federal property, as at a national cemetery or at a NMP like Gettysburg.
     
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