IVERSONS PITS & 60 Confederates Who Bagged 500 Yankees William A. Hinson

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IVERSONS PITS & 60 Confederates Who Bagged 500 Yankees  by  William A. Hinson

IVERSONS PITS & 60 Confederates Who Bagged 500 Yankees by William A. Hinson
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A total of close to 5,000 Confederates are believed to have been killed or to have “died of wounds” at the Battle of Gettysburg. So many Southern men were gone, whileuncertainty and anguish fermented in their hometowns, as families waited for news,MoreA total of close to 5,000 Confederates are believed to have been killed or to have “died of wounds” at the Battle of Gettysburg. So many Southern men were gone, whileuncertainty and anguish fermented in their hometowns, as families waited for news, whether it be good or bad.

The mother of Captain Oliver Mercer of the 20th North Carolina may have said it best when she wrote to a Gettysburg resident the sadness she felt while searching for what was left of her son’s body. “Oh! We have lost so much…. He was a brave, noble boy in the full bloom of youth, and my heart yearns to have his remains, if they can be found, brought home to rest in the soil of the land he loved so well. I need your assistance and I am confident you will aid me.” Like many over time, Mrs. Mercer finally gave up all prospects of ever seeing her son alive again. Therefore, in the end, her only comfort, akin to other relatives of the Confederate dead, was the knowledge that her son, and their sons, brothers, fathers, and friends had received some medical care before death, and then were provided with a marked, secure, and permanent grave.

It did not seem much to ask, considering the terrible sacrifices that had been made. Yet, the bodies of these soldiers were on the enemy’s land, and the difficulties only began with the knowledge of that reality.Such feelings of helplessness were expressed often in the months and years following the Gettysburg battle, and surely after every other of the thousands of engagements that took place during the Civil War. And while those appeals may or may not have been heardelsewhere, in Pennsylvania, a series of events, combined with the efforts of a fewindividuals, started a chain reaction that in the end, somewhat moved events in a direction to satisfy the desperate wishes of this grieving population.Somehow, even before the end of 1863, the word began to trickle down into the states of the Southern Confederacy, that there was a chance, even a real possibility, that withpatience and the right contacts, a family could actually recover the body or remains of acherished loved one, lost and buried in Pennsylvania.

There are some accounts in thehistorical record which relate how a few Confederates were, in fact, moved to their homes quite soon after the battle. These were rare exceptions, but, they still did occur. It would be unique to find an account of a poor family in some “Deep South” state making the attempt to claim a son’s body. And since a large segment of General Lee’s army was made up ofenlisted men with backgrounds of limited means, there is little doubt that many parents from this strata of culture never took away, nor had shipped home, the remains of their offspring.The need to fulfill so many urgent and heart-stricken requests brought forth the concern and services of a handful of men in the Gettysburg area who, early on, assisted in theretrieval of Confederate soldiers’ corpses or skeletal remains.

One of the first and mostnotable names to be associated with this task was Samuel Weaver. By July 12, Weaver had a workable list containing as many as 1,000 to 1,300 Confederate grave sites. The reason the figure 1,000 to 1,300 is used here is because out of the possible 5,000 Southern soldiers who are now believed to have lost their lives during the battle, or afterwards due to wounds, only that number ended up being buried and marked by their comrades, or had died in Unionhospitals where their graves were accounted for by Federal authorities.In researching existing Confederate military records of General Iverson’s brigade, theauthor has discovered a startling discrepancy in the number of Confederate soldiers thatwere “shot and died” on July 1, 1863 at Gett



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