"US NATIONAL CEMETERY" Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park Things to Do: 71 reviews and 213 photos
Over 15000 Federal soldiers are buried here above the Battlefield Visitor Center with over 80% unknown. The soldiers died in the many battles that occured in the vicinity - Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville - others from disease. Unlike other Civil War cemeteries, soldiers are not buried by State, just number - the bodies were reinterred from many temporary gravesites in 1865 making the identity of the State as difficult as the name of the soldier. Monuments in the cemetery include a tower by the entry dedicated to the V Corps whom Gen. William Butterworth commanded at Fredericksburg. Gen. Andrew Humphreys is center stage. His PA division got closest to the heights - still 100 yards short - losing over 1000 men. Nearby, a monument to 127th Pennsylvania, enlisting for only nine months. this was their battle - over 30% lost. Everpresent are tablets recording verses from Theodore O'Hara's poem, 'Bivouac of the Dead' written originally to commemorate fallen Americans at the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican-American War. The words are haunting - more so since O'Hara became a Rebel officer during the War. Reason enough for his name not to be mentioned. Unknown graves are marked by lowered stones - the top number is the gravesite number, the lower being the number of men sharing the site - 2, 4, 8, 11.
Medal of Honor winners to be found here include LTC Edward Hill who led the 16th Michigan, as a captain, into point blank fire at Cold Harbor keeping his troops going until severely wounded. Surviving his wounds, he lived until 1900, one of 8 Medal of Honor winners that day at Cold Harbor. First Sgt William Jones, a 28 year old Irish immigrant of the 73rd New York - Second Fire Zouaves - won a Medal of Honor posthumously at the Bloody Angle of Spotsylvania capturing the regimental flag of the 65th Virginia, one of three 73rd soldiers winning Medals of Honor that day for capturing flags, but he was the only one who died. There were 35 Medals of Honor awarded for May 12 at the Bloody Angle.
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