Where Valor Proudly Sleeps-full title

CHAPTER ONE: Wartime Burials



Colonel John R. Brooke led the 1862 burial details that interred the Union dead at Marye’s Heights.

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This map, drawn by George C. Anderson of the Fifty-Third Pennsylvania, shows the location of two long burial trenches created by Brooke’s burial on the plain in front of Marye’s Heights.   The heights appear at the top of the image, and the Rappahannock River is at the bottom. The road identified as “Richmond Road” is Hanover Street, and the “Small Branching Road” is ? Street. The large structure near the center of the image is the Stratton house.

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Hundreds of Union soldiers died in the harsh winter following the Battle of Fredericksburg. Most were buried in ad hoc cemeteries like this one located near the regimental camps.

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Photographer Timothy O’Sullivan captured these images of Union burial parties in action at the Alsop farm on Spotsylvania Battlefield.

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At Spotsylvania, the Fifth Corps established its field hospital at “Laurel Hill,” a house then occupied by Katherine Couse.

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Many Union soldiers initially survived their wounds at Spotsylvania only to die a few days later in Fredericksburg. Corporal Albert M. Downs of the Fifty-Seventh New York buried as many as 800 of them on the property of John J. Chew.

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After the struggle for the Bloody Angle, Private William McVey buried several of his slain friends, including Abram Pollock, shown here. Today Pollock and two of his comrades occupy a single grave (#3039) in Fredericksburg National Cemetery.