“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Burkittsville in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Burial: A Most Disagreeable Task

Burial: A Most Disagreeable Task Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 5, 2007
1. Burial: A Most Disagreeable Task Marker
Inscription. The treatment of soldiers killed in action depended on which army held the battlefield after the guns fell silent. At South Mountain a few men from each Union regiment were assigned to burial details. To prevent the spread of disease, they lined up the dead where they fell and hurriedly buried them in shallow trenches. Under the best of circumstances it was not pleasant duty. The burial details processed their own dead first, often identifying bodies by notes pinned to the dead soldiers' uniforms. The Confederates who died at South Mountain were less fortunate. Most lost their identity at burial. Their last memorial was usually a simple inscription on a crude, wooden headboard that read: “100 dead Rebs buried here.”

Some union families personally retrieved the bodies of their loved ones for reburial after the battle. Most of the Union dead, however, remained buried on the battlefield until 1867, when the War Department reinterred them in the Antietam National Cemetery. The National Cemetery trustees refused to accept the Confederate dead, so the State of Maryland provided a permanent burial ground at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown. The South Mountain Confederate dead were laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery in 1874.

These exhibits were designed and fabricated by SunSyne Products, Incorporated, Johnson
Six Blue and Gray Markers image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 21, 2007
2. Six Blue and Gray Markers
The Burial marker is third from the left.
City, Tennessee.
Erected by Blue & Gray Educational Society / State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Location. 39° 24.312′ N, 77° 38.364′ W. Marker is near Burkittsville, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Gapland Raod and Arnoldstown Road, on the left when traveling west on Gapland Raod. Click for map. Across the road from the War Correspondent’s Memorial Arch, in Gathland State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Burkittsville MD 21718, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Troup Light Artillery (here, next to this marker); Bartlett Leads the Way (here, next to this marker); Medal of Honor Recipients (here, next to this marker); Padgett’s Field: Confederate Last Stand (here, next to this marker); The Stage is Set (here, next to this marker); Journalists Who Gave Their Lives (within shouting distance of this marker); GATH: The Man and His Mountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Gath's Empty Tomb (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Burkittsville.
More about this marker. The marker features two drawing depicting burial details at work. The left side drawing is captioned, “This is a burial detail at Antietam. The dead of Cobb’s Legion were buried in shallow trenches on Padgett’s Field at the eastern foot of Crampton’s Gap.” The right side drawing states, “The Union dead at South Mountain were disinterred for reburial at Antietam.”
Also see . . .
1. Death in the Civil War. General discussion of how death was considered in the Civil War, with a section on the disposition of the bodies after battles. (Submitted on August 22, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Civil War “Dog Tags”. While early in the war, a simple piece of paper was used to identify the dead, later the soldiers themselves adopted the unofficial practice of wearing a metal disk with identification information. This foreshadowed the modern use of identification tags or “Dog Tags.” (Submitted on August 22, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,567 times since then and 101 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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