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Friday, June 28, 2013

Burying the Dead at Gettysburg

From Gettysburg Foundation
 
Roughly 7,000 men died on the battlefield at Gettysburg in three days of fighting — almost three times the population of the town (2,400). Bodies lay over 25 square miles of ground. The townspeople of Gettysburg had never seen death on that scale. The overwhelming task of burying the dead began. At first, soldiers were buried on the battlefield, but these gravesites were only temporary.
 
Thousands of families traveled to Gettysburg, searching the temporary graves, to claim the bodies of their loved ones. The citizens of Gettysburg wanted a proper resting place for fallen Union soldiers and with the establishment of Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Union dead were removed from the battlefield to permanent graves in that cemetery. Thousands of Confederate dead, however, lay in shallow graves for nearly a decade before their remains were eventually returned to the South.
 
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