J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Lost Cemetery

It’s sad to think that old cemeteries get tossed by the wayside, covered with dust and weeds, and forgotten to history, but it isn’t uncommon. Over the course of time, people move on, descendants forget, and life goes on. There are many documented accounts where Civil War soldiers’ remains are accidentally unearthed when construction crews dig up new strip mall foundations, and occasionally, the forgotten cemetery gets unearthed as well.

One such graveyard was recently discovered in North Carolina. Near Four Oaks, 20 Confederate soldiers’ graves were dedicated on June 11. The soldiers died during the Battle of Bentonville, in which about 4,200 Union and Confederate troops were wounded or killed. The remains of the 20 Confederates were buried near the Harper’s Farm, which was used as a field hospital.

As years went by, the exact location where these soldiers were buried was lost. But thanks to the discovery of a 19th century photograph showing headstones near the Harper family cemetery, as well as 21st-century radar, the graves were re-discovered. The Harper House Chapter of the UDC is in the process of raising funds to replace the headstones.

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