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kgwolfe1
10-28-2009, 05:56 AM
I am posting this to get CONSTRUCTIVE information. I recently stumbled across the location of a confederate graveyard which has been "lost" to history. The property on which it sits is privately owned and the owner would like to have it moved due to the fact that he is wary about doing anything in the location that would violate the graves. My questions are these 1. Can the graves be moved? 2. What would have to be done to do this legally? 3. What would be a fitting memorial to these men when they are reinterred?

We would like to create a proper Confederate graveyard for them and give them all the military honor that thier sacrafices deserve.

Bee
10-28-2009, 08:12 AM
Where (what State) is the cemetery located?
Requirements for disinterment are governed by state law and local regulations, and vary from one to another.

Elevonics
10-28-2009, 05:50 PM
You might want to drop a line to the local SCV camp in that area-they will defenitely help you with your questions

jthlmnn
10-28-2009, 06:17 PM
First, I'm impressed that a private owner is wary of doing anything that will (carelessly/thoughtlessly) disturb remains. Even if it is total self-interest in staying out of trouble, that kind of awareness and sensitivity seems to be rare in this country. If it is out of a sense of respect (for the dead, for history, etc.), then I am even more impressed. This could become a model of how such situations can be handled.

As stated above, state and local laws need to be investigated. Disinternment/reinternment is not cheap, either. You did not state how many graves are involved. The price tag could be rather hefty. I would suggest that minds be kept open to the possibility that the only practical solution might include leaving the graves where they are, but restoring the site.

Finally, while it may be an unnecessary caution, any change regarding remains can become a very emotional issue. Be prepared for a range of reactions. The fact that the situation is being approached with a sense of respect and caution should minimize/eliminate most possible negative feelings. Just be prepared for the ones that need more reassurance or convincing.

I wish you good luck and lots of thoughtful, skillful assistance. Please keep us posted.

With respect,

kgwolfe1
10-29-2009, 07:28 AM
The land owner truly is sensitive to the history of the location and respects the sacrafice these men made. At the same time he would like to use the area in question without desecrating it.

As to the number buried there, best guess is over 100. I am trying to get the NPS on board to smooth out the legalities and to provide a qualified archeologist so this is handled with all the proprieties required.We wish that the reinternments be handled with all the proper honors observed. I have a list of the names of the dead but for all these years the location of the burial ground was lost. I know that a proper headstone over the exact remains would be impossible but what about seperate graves with a memorial with the names? Would this be proper in your opinion?

I know this is going to be a long term project involving great amounts of time and effort but we are a motivated group of souls and are dedicated to the project.

I will give more information as to what, where, and how as they transpire as I know from experiene that too much information too soon can only lead to complications in the long run.

Thank you for the input and keep them coming.

Bee
10-29-2009, 07:38 AM
I am trying to get the NPS on board

Sir,
Why is the NPS involved? If the graves are not on federal land, I would think you would first want to involve your State archivist or perhaps state university history department (or archeology department) who would have access to the State government parties responsible for allowing disinterment or examination of the graves.

Elizabeth

johnduffer
10-29-2009, 07:55 AM
One of the first things I'd do is visit the Register Of Deeds office and see how and by whom the cemetery was created. I'm a surveyor in Tennessee and once came across a previously forgotten old cemetery that included Confederate war dead (although that had nothing to do with later results). At one point the property had been willed with the statement that the cemetery on the property was to remain undisturbed "for all perpetuality". The developer was unable to have the remains moved because of this clause.

John Duffer

Jim Mayo
10-29-2009, 08:03 AM
The VA will provide a head stone for each unmarked grave, free of charge. There are just a couple of forms to fill out. The SCV is very involved in placing grave markers. Follow the previous advice and get in touch with the local camp and see lif they can help.

kgwolfe1
10-29-2009, 08:30 AM
Sir,
Why is the NPS involved? If the graves are not on federal land, I would think you would first want to involve your State archivist or perhaps state university history department (or archeology department) who would have access to the State government parties responsible for allowing disinterment or examination of the graves.

Elizabeth

I wanted to use the NPS as a source for finding out the legalities involved. The land abuts a National Park so I figured they would know what needs to be done.

Gregg Hensley
10-29-2009, 07:57 PM
To repeat an earlier question...what state is the cemetery in? As Mr. Mayo suggested, contact the nearest SCV Camp (I can help you with this if you wish). Marking (and finding)Confederate graves is a high priority for the SCV.

To the question of actually moving the graves, with 100 graves to move somewhere else, the cost would be prohibitive. Land would have to be purchased (or donated). Disinterment and reinterment for each soldier would be expensive! I wouldn't want to even consider the amount of red tape/paperwork involved. I would hope the landowner would reconsider and let the men rest where they were originally buried and mark their graves as such.

Gregg Hensley
22nd NC, Co. K
SCV Camp #379

Hoss 4th AL
10-31-2009, 04:53 PM
Try your local UDC camp. They help alot on those kind of things.

Busterbuttonboy
11-01-2009, 03:55 PM
You need to contact your state department of historic preservation and also be familiar with your states grave and re-internment procedures which will be found on your states website. This should be done before contacting the UDC, SCV, or NPS.

RebelBugler
11-26-2009, 08:48 AM
The VA will provide a head stone for each unmarked grave, free of charge. There are just a couple of forms to fill out. The SCV is very involved in placing grave markers. Follow the previous advice and get in touch with the local camp and see lif they can help.

The VA "may" provide a head stone for each unmarked grave free of charge. The current policy is that it "MUST" be requested by a "Next of Kin". This policy effectively eliminates the ability of descendent organizations, like the SCV and SUV, to file applications with the VA on behalf of WBTS Veterans with unmarked graves. Obviously, the SCV would still want to help but it is highly unlikely the VA will provide any headstones or assistance,

http://www.cem.va.gov/hm/hmqa.asp (http://www.cem.va.gov/hm/hmqa.asp)

The VA has also been somewhat discriminatory in authorizing headstones for Black Confederate soldiers, according to a recent Civilwar news article.

http://www.civilwarnews.com/archive/articles/09/november/blackvets_110909.html

Jim Mayo
11-26-2009, 06:30 PM
The VA "may" provide a head stone for each unmarked grave free of charge. The current policy is that it "MUST" be requested by a "Next of Kin". This policy effectively eliminates the ability of descendent organizations, like the SCV and SUV, to file applications with the VA on behalf of WBTS Veterans with unmarked graves. Obviously, the SCV would still want to help but it is highly unlikely the VA will provide any headstones or assistance,

http://www.cem.va.gov/hm/hmqa.asp (http://www.cem.va.gov/hm/hmqa.asp)

The VA has also been somewhat discriminatory in authorizing headstones for Black Confederate soldiers, according to a recent Civilwar news article.

http://www.civilwarnews.com/archive/articles/09/november/blackvets_110909.html




Check out the last paragraph on the VA page from your link. Most of the CW Veteran headstones I know of were requested by the Cemetery official since NOK was not unavailable and the graves were unmarked or the present stone was broken or unreadable. Only a couple of times have I seen the VA turn down a request for a stone and then when a picture of the site was provided they changed their minds.

As for the VA not providing stones for black CS veterans, that should not be. That sounds like a personal decision by someone at the VA. If the documentation of service is there and the grave is unmarked the VA should provide a stone. About 10 years ago the local SCV got a stone for a black Confederate who served in the 41st Va. Inf. It was requested by the family and there was no problem getting the stone. Maybe there are some PC people in the VA pushing their own adjenda.

One thing everyone who orders a CW era US Navy stone needs to be checking is the inscription. I ordered a stone for a US CW Naval veteran and the stone came back with "Provisional Navy" on the stone for branch of service. That was the early CS navy. When I contacted the VA facility that engraved the stone, they said that their sample stone was engraved like that. No telling how many US CW Naval Veteran stones have Provisional Navy for branch of service.

Gregg Hensley
11-26-2009, 07:11 PM
On several occasions my SCV Camp has requested and received headstones/foot markers with the cemetery committee chairman's signature only on the VA form. This was when the next of kin couldn't be located. The VA has never required us to provide a photo of the grave with any marker form we've sent in. With that said, the current economic times seem to be putting the squeeze on the VA as they have tightened the reins on providing markers. Before, if the soldier's service was not noted on a family headstone, we were able to get a foot marker for the soldier. No longer...if he has any kind of marker (other than a field rock) with his name, etc. on it, they will not provide a marker.

Gregg Hensley
22 NCST, Co. K