West Virginia USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The remains of 95 unknown Confederate soldiers from the Battle of Lewisburg, fought May 23, 1862, lie in this cross-shaped common grave. It has a vertical length 80 feet long and a cross arm of 40 feet long, with an overall width of 10 feet.
Colonel George Crook would not permit the southern sympathizers to bury their own dead, and thus they were originally laid out in the Old Stone Church and later placed in a trench along the south wall of the church without ceremony. It wasn't until after the war that the remains of the 95 Confederate dead were removed from the churchyard and interred in the cross-shaped mass grave.
The bronze marker, which serves as a headstone, was provided by the Federal government and erected on November 13, 1956. It reads,
HERE REST THE REMAINS OF
APPROXIMATELY 95 UNKNOWN
KILLED OR DIED OF DISEASE
AND WOUNDS IN THE
BATTLE OF LEWISBURG
The Battle of Lewisburg was fought on May 23, 1862 between the Southern forces of General Henry A Heth and the Northern forces of Colonel George Crook, later famous as the captor of Geronimo. The inhabitants of Lewisburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), a peaceful town, were awakened by the sound of artillery and the rattle of musketry that morning. The deadly conflict was a part of a larger Federal effort to server communications between Virginia and Tennessee.
Although Colonel Crook won this half hour-long battle, Lewisburg remained a Southern outpost for most of the Civil War. The Ohio and Virginia units that fought here faces three more years of war and battles including those at Antietam and Cold Harbor.
(text by E. Clinton)