|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Dover Cemetery, Town of Dover, Stewart County Tennessee.
Many of the tombstones in the cemetery were damaged by cannon ball fire during the Battle of Dover in 1863. Also, you may notice square markers with iron rings attached to them. The significance of these are not precisely known, but two theories exist to explain their presence.
1. They were used to mark the boundaries of purchased family plots.
2. They served as hitches for the horse drawn wagons and buggies of visitors to the cemetery.
CONFEDERATE MASS GRAVE.
The Battle of Dover occurred on Feb. 3, 1863 when Wheeler's Confederate Calvary tried to retake the town. In this attempt, the Union soldiers with a large cannon were occupying the town square as Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men attacked from the east. It is said that Forrest had two horses killed in the charge and that only four buildings in the town remained after the battle. At the same time, Confederate General John Wharton led an attack from the south and west against the Union forces that were positioned near the Dover Cemetery. After several hours of fierce fighting, the Confederates drove the Federal troops back toward town and captured one of the artillery pieces. The Union troops quickly recovered and staged a counter attack that drove the ammunition-short Confederates back from the area and forced them to leave their dead and wounded behind. General Wharton reported 17 killed in this attack, while Union reports listed 150 Confederates dead from the joint attack. The actual number is probably somewhere in between. Dairy accounts from some of the Union Soldiers stated that the Confederate dead were buried in shallow, unmarked graves "at the cemetery". The possible location of this mass grave has been identified, and the Fort Donelson camp #249, Sons of Confederate Veterans are in the process of documenting this and attempting to identify the men buried here, with the goal of erecting a suitable monument to these Confederate soldiers.