Tombstone Chronicles-American Civil War Era Tombstones

Posted: December 15, 2010 in For Genealogists, Tombstone Chronicles

In all of the pictures of military tombstones, you see white cement, concrete or whatever the slab is made of.  The period of the tombstones really matters.

These tombstones have different varieties depending upon where they were, when they were interred in that particular cemetery and whether or not the families had a say in things.

Families had an option to bury the loved one in a family plot or in a military cemetery.  Often, the poorest of families accepted the military service to help with funeral costs.  Then you have the proud to serve people who accepted it as in honor of the loved ones service with pride & honor.  Poor or with pride – it doesn’t matter – we honor all who served.

The tombstones themselves tell tales too.

In our fictional Cemetery of Doubt, three different styles are seen – the story goes three different cemeteries were moved into one.  The stones mark the differences in the cemeteries.  One has a stone slab – not white, the second one has painted slab and the 3rd is all white like concrete slab.  The oldest being of the stone slab – not  white – which were put in after 1865.

Also, after the American Civil War many of the emergency created cemeteries were moved into permanent cemeteries.  In many of the emergency cemeteries they did not have tombstones as they were buried with names on the caskets.  These places were more often a mass grave pit than cemetery.

What we need to know about these tombstones

  • When you are looking at the tombstone – make sure you are reading the initials correctly – rank, infantry or company that kind of thing.
  • What the history of the cemetery is.
  • If the grave had been moved from one cemetery to another.
  • If the family had a say in the burial location, stone or epitaph

Why are these important?

They give us more information to search for.  🙂


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