"The Gettysburg Dead" Come Home To Richmond Mothers, Widows And Orphans, 1872

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Hi and yes, please? Thank you SO much for joining ( welcome )- pretty psyched to have this information. It's terribly difficult finding information on Weaver's work, much less where the soldiers' remains were sent. Had no clue so many towns were able to regain men. Both Weavers are fascinating and the son's contributions never seemed to me, to have been acknowledged. I hope so much your efforts were?

A lot of times these threads become a North/South thing and it just is not. A great deal is made of the mass burials, post battle, of Confederate men- as if it was done through disrespect. In a ridiculously hot July, with their regiments necessarily withdrawn, there was just no one to bury them as swiftly as needed.

Years post battle is where it gets awful. Money men raked in tourist dollars while all those thousands of soldiers lay beneath tourist feet. That sure was hugely disrespectful although am convinced engendered by greed, not on what side they fought- makes it worse.

Sorry to go off on a tangent- this project doesn't seem discussed enough, you know? Love to hear your story, please and thank you again!
Miss Huson
I need your and other readers help. In 2012 I started the process of erecting up to five historical markers honoring Dr. Rufus Benjamin Weaver. Weaver is responsible for returning the remains of 3,320 men killed at Gettysburg back to the south. Two of the markers are done. Gettysburg and Hollywood cemetery in Richmond. Raliegh has a marker previously set. This leave Charleston and Savannah. Due to my health and work, the project has languished. It is my intention, to return and complete what I started. It needs to be done!
Please all who read this, inform me where the newspaper articles come from. What newspapers printed them, especially the article with the letter General Lee wrote. I plan to write a new article requesting funds from all southerners and those who wish to donate. When we start, all funds will be accepted by the SCV. More to come on that. Thank you!
Dan
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Miss Huson
I need your and other readers help. In 2012 I started the process of erecting up to five historical markers honoring Dr. Rufus Benjamin Weaver. Weaver is responsible for returning the remains of 3,320 men killed at Gettysburg back to the south. Two of the markers are done. Gettysburg and Hollywood cemetery in Richmond. Raliegh has a marker previously set. This leave Charleston and Savannah. Due to my health and work, the project has languished. It is my intention, to return and complete what I started. It needs to be done!
Please all who read this, inform me where the newspaper articles come from. What newspapers printed them, especially the article with the letter General Lee wrote. I plan to write a new article requesting funds from all southerners and those who wish to donate. When we start, all funds will be accepted by the SCV. More to come on that. Thank you!
Dan


HOLY gee whiz, thank you for bringing this here. The Weavers were both remarkable, father having carefully recorded graves- son able to use those records when his work commenced. Dr. Weaver must have been terribly compassionate- what an awful job both physically and logistically. To have a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania native memorialized for his work, in the South, can only be healing, you know? For all of us.

To be clear, please, what is it you would like? I've clipped and saved multiple ( i.e. a gazillion ) articles from era papers - will dig them out for source, for you, let's see, obviously LoC, newspapers dot com, Fulton Post Cards ( tougher to find, search engine inexact )- happy to help with sending any information I saved. No professional here, just a big buttinski in Time.

PM, or continue the conversation on this thread, if you feel it helpful, and thank you.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Thought I'd add the list put together by Charleston's Ladies Memorial Association. They not only allude to Dr. O'Neal's contribution, there's a list of men's names and regiments reinterred from Gettysburg in Magnolia's private and public plots.

gb.jpg

Too long to post - there's 15 pages just in the public section. It's amazing how many men were identified- this wasn't until the early 1870's. Documentation done post battle must have been incredibly good. These men were mostly in unmarked graves scattered over a battlefield given over to tourism.
 
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Karen Lips

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Yes, it genuinely is sacred ground. Those still sleeping there, Union and Confederate should be allowed to rest in peace now after all these years. I'm sure many know where they rest and protect their right to not be disturbed. Pretty sure, if I ever came across a 150 year old grave, would not feel it my business to call attention to it.

The numbers were staggering post battle though. It did seem to me, as an indication our country was healing a divided past, the government would have stepped in. Fundraising was long, frustrating and caused yet more division, this time within the South.
Could you elaborate on how this caused division in the South?
 

treebie2000

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Pat, I just checked Coco's "Gettysburg's Confederate Dead" and here's what he had to say: "But things never got any better. By the end of 1873, he was still owed more than $6,000 from the Hollywood MemorialAssociation, which by then, was essentially defunct. And, because the group had never been incorporated, that left no future chance for a legal settlement. Therefore, Dr. Weaver, for all intents and purposes, had to give up any claim for reimbursement."
Coco later goes on to say that later, a reactivated Hollywood Memorial Association, did try to make good on its predecessor's obligations but Coco doubts that Weaver ever saw more than a fraction of the bill paid.
According to: http://www.in2013dollars.com/1873-dollars-in-2018?amount=6000 that equates to $126,073 in 2018 dollars.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Could you elaborate on how this caused division in the South?

I'm not sure what you mean, sorry? If anything connected to The Gettysburg Dead caused division in the South, had not heard of it? If anything, ladies organizations formed to raise money and bring men home pulled civilians together for a common objective, from what I can see? Found S.C.'s excellent ' pamphlet ', for Charleston's project ( long for a mere pamphlet, more a short book ), with so much research and so many civilian names it seems clear hundreds cooperated.
 

Karen Lips

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I'm not sure what you mean, sorry? If anything connected to The Gettysburg Dead caused division in the South, had not heard of it? If anything, ladies organizations formed to raise money and bring men home pulled civilians together for a common objective, from what I can see? Found S.C.'s excellent ' pamphlet ', for Charleston's project ( long for a mere pamphlet, more a short book ), with so much research and so many civilian names it seems clear hundreds cooperated.
Do you have anymore detailed stories from your great grandmother?
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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https://civilwartalk.com/threads/dr-j-w-c-oneal-gettysburgs-virginian.149230/#post-1880257

Came across Dr. O'Neal by accident, browsing newspapers. Until finding his personal narrative I had no idea he played such an important role in Weavers' work. Something in another thread reminded me he's part of the story here and should be added. No need to go the thread, added the link so he's included. A Southerner and short time resident, O'Neal made notes of where Confederate graves were when he came across them.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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The Gettysburg Dead story has always seemed to illustrate how long it took to gluing pieces together again after so much comprehensive brutality towards each other, each coffin pulled through the streets a reminder. I'd had another thread to post today. Maybe tomorrow.

Sometimes the contention here gets to me. No one can tell me any mother was sincerely happy to ' give ' her son for a cause, like it was a comfort. It's creepy, just too easy and makes it easier to view another human as somehow expendable. We'd already done that and it didn't work out very well. Hence this sad day when coffins made their way through the rebuilt streets of Richmond, Virginia.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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@Virginia Dave , I ' think ' there's just two destinations mentioned in the thread- could have been more? I'd been meaning to add to this thread anyway. A Dr. O'Neal, Southerner recently moved to Gettysburg in 1863, made a point during and after the battle of stopping at Confederate graves- he made meticulous notes of each one. The Weavers used his notes, too.

If your relative was buried on the battlefield, there's an awfully good chance his remains would be in Richmond or perhaps one of the other cemeteries- I only found Magnolia, bet there are more.
 

Rick Richter

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The number cited in the above article mentions some 3400 being returned from the Gettysburg battlefield. Is that an accurate figure for the number of Confederate soldiers killed there? I have seen books where the authors have that figure being under 3,000 and if the reinterred figure is correct, their number cannot be that low.
The number of Confederates killed at Gettysburg is cloer to 5,000, but not all died on the battlefield. Many died in field hospitals on the route back to Virginia, or died even weeks and months after the battle in major hospitals in the Shenandoah Valley, Richmond, and other locations. Others were exhumed and reinterred privately in cemeteries closer to home, which also reduced the number of soldiers' remains shipped south by the Ladies' Memorial associations.
 

Rick Richter

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https://civilwartalk.com/threads/dr-j-w-c-oneal-gettysburgs-virginian.149230/#post-1880257

Came across Dr. O'Neal by accident, browsing newspapers. Until finding his personal narrative I had no idea he played such an important role in Weavers' work. Something in another thread reminded me he's part of the story here and should be added. No need to go the thread, added the link so he's included. A Southerner and short time resident, O'Neal made notes of where Confederate graves were when he came across them.
Both O'Neal's and Weaver's original notes are at the library at the Gettysburg NPS Visitor's Center. Together they ID'd about 1,100 Confederate burials, but many of the grave markers that O'Neal originally noted in 1866 and a couple years later were obliterated or missing by the time Weaver made his notations in the early 1870's. So many soldiers ID'd by O'Neal were unidentifiable by the 1870's, and were buried as unknowns in the Gettysburg Dead section of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
 
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Virginia Dave

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I'm still looking for photographs in any of these cities, where " Gettysburg Dead ", was a huge, long awaited and extremely emotional event across each state. You just know photographers would have helped mark these processions and ceremonies. Tracking down the photos or recognizing them if found might take some doing- a wagon festooned with flowers might be mistaken for something else with an 1871, 1872 or 1873 date.
Thank you again for adding to my previously unknown knowledge of this historic event. I am still trying to locate my relatives. Some may have been part of this procession.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Both O'Neal's and Weaver's original notes are at the library at the Gettysburg NPS Visitor's Center. Together they ID'd about 1,100 Confederate burials, but many of the grave markers that O'Neal originally noted in 1866 and a couple years later were obliterated or missing by the time Weaver made his notations in the early 1870's. So many soldiers ID'd by O'Neal were unidentifiable by the 1870's, and were buried as unknowns in the Gettysburg Dead section of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

Weaver Sr. made copious notes shortly after the battle. The National Cemetery was in progress, Weaver, senior's synopsis of his work is in one of the official reports encompassing the whole. Tough reading, though! He documents what each man's personal effects were and how he was able to do that underlines how gruesome was the work. Confederate graves were marked while Union graves put on the list to rebury in the National Cemetery.

Yes, it wasn't just at Gettysburg, this country must have a staggering amount of war graves dotted around old battlefields and elsewhere. Markers could be obliterated within weeks, frequently pencil on board. Two relatives killed at Gettysburg are unknowns in the National Cemetery, another whose grave had been marked initially at Shiloh is also unknown. Yet another is buried at Goose Creek, I've never been able to get there- a lovely woman tracked us down on Ancestry. She'd been to the Gettysburg College collection exhibit. A fellow soldier's diary is there- amazingly, this man drew a map as to where the regiment stopped to bury my relative. Unmarked, probably beneath a strip mall by now.

O'Neal states he noted some grave locations while the battle was still raging. He said that quite a few years afterwards but there doesn't seem to be a reason to disbelieve him? Like other local docs he was out there, caring for wounded of both sides.

Must get to the NPS records, had no idea they were available. Are Weaver, Sr.'s notes there too?
 
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