Where Valor Proudly Sleeps-full title

CHAPTER TWO: Postwar Burials in the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Court House




The First United States Veteran Volunteers scoured the Wilderness for Union remains in June 1865. Unburied skeletons, like these, were interred in one of two cemeteries established on the battlefield.

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Wilderness National Cemetery No. 1 stood in Saunders Field, just south of the Orange Turnpike.

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Wilderness National Cemetery No. 2 stood adjacent to the Orange Plank Road. Artist George Leo Frankenstein painted this image of the cemetery shortly after the war.

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Moore’s burial party erected headboards over all the graves they found. This one, belonging to Col. John W. Patterson of the 102nd Pennsylvania, is currently on display at the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center.

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Patterson’s headboard originally would have been much longer, like these erected at Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle.

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Private William Landon of the 14th Indiana found the grave of his previous commander, Col. John Coons, buried at the Couse farm. There is no record of Coons being buried in Fredericksburg National Cemetery suggesting that his family later retrieved his remains.