|Off Woods Mill Road (Woods Mill Area), Fort Drum, NY|
New York USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
This cemetery is located inside the U.S. Army Fort Drum Military Reservation near the village of Antwerp. The actual cemetery is located just inside the impact area which is used for various types of weapons fire. Because Woods Mill Cemetery is located near the impact zone, the cemetery may be off limits without proper authorization - for obvious safety reasons. Check with Fort Drum range control to see about access to the cemetery (Recommend checking Fort Drum's website for up to date contact information).
Contact Fort Drum Public affairs Office for further information. Fort Drum does have an archeology office for local historical sites located on the reservation.
Through the many decades the area has been an impact zone, Woods Mill Cemetery has headstones damaged from accidental artillery or direct fire impacts. A family member or ancestor has to contact Fort Drum and make a claim to have any repairs made to a damaged grave marker.
Information from Watertown Daily Times Newspaper (Watertown, New York), June 22, 1996, "Woman Leads Fight To Repair Fort Drum Graves" article written by David C. Shampine.
An excerpt from the Watertown Times article..."a post spokesman, said that he was told by Range Control, which oversees all old cemeteries on Fort Drum, that all damage in the cemetery dates back to 1968, when shells were fired into the burial ground.
Mrs. Murray said the Army has told her it is willing to make repairs where possible, but for that to be accomplished, a family must come forward and claim that a certain burial plot is ancestral. The Army will not repair unclaimed plots, she said.
Unfortunately, some of the plots are marked by only piles of 'blown up' stones from what were monuments, so those who are buried at those locations are forever forgotten, she said.
Ironically, some of the grave markers that survive carry the phrase, 'Gone but not forgotten.'
Fort Drum provided Mrs. Murray with a list of the damaged monuments that can be identified, and she said she hopes that making the list public will help find descendents so they can make claims to the Army."
Burial markers that were accidentally damaged by weapons fire as of 1996 or earlier are noted as damaged and listed. The names of undamaged stones are now listed too.
There are two Civil War soldiers killed in action (or by other means) at the same battle in Virginia and buried at Woods Mill, John Randall and Artemas Randall
(Father and Son).
Update (May 2012) - from the official US Army Ft. Drum website - "Every Memorial Day all training stops, and all of the cemeteries are accessible to the public. The cemeteries may also be visited at other times. Please contact the Fort Drum Public Affairs Office at (315) 772-5461 to arrange a visit. In addition, the Cultural Resources Program is working to develop cemetery inventories and make them available for family members and for genealogical research."
Link to webpage is:
Update (May 2012) Granite markers for Veterans are available due to a grant received from the Army Center of Excellence Award. "According to Heather Wagner, the environmental educator for the public works department, the revitalization of these cemeteries is a way to honor and remember those who have served, and do still serve."
"Wagner continued that if anyone who has a family member buried at any of the 13 ‘lost village' cemeteries, and can identify them, they will place a marker by that veteran as well. Anyone with information can contact her office at 315-772-2150."
Granite marker information and two quotes above was obtained from a web news story titled: "Volunteers lay memorial stones in the ‘lost cemeteries' of Fort Drum" Reported by: Holly Boname, May 22, 2012, myabc50.com
Link to website: http://www.myabc50.com/news/local/story/Volunteers-lay-memorial-stones-in-the-lost/YILESKI9AUulFZzZlpisPA.cspx
Woods Mill is one of the 13 "Lost Village" cemeteries.
Cemetery page created by Old Ironsides
Location of Cemetery was determined using a Fort Drum Military Reservation Map and verbal contact with Fort Drum Range Control (2/19/10). MGRS is 18T VP 5422 8555.