Press Releases

Veterans Graves Marked in National Park After 150 Years

VETERANS GRAVES IN NATIONAL PARK
TO FINALLY BE MARKED AFTER 150 YEARS
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(SAVANNAH – Sept 12, 2013)  Plans are underway to permanently mark what may be the last remaining known yet unmarked graves of American veterans in a National Park.  The unmarked graves of nineteen Confederate soldiers, including thirteen members of the Immortal Six Hundred, lie immediately outside the moat surrounding Ft. Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia.  As part of the continuing Sesquicentennial commemoration of the War Between the States — and with the cooperation of the National Park Service — the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans recently erected a granite monument to The Immortal Six Hundred plus a decorative brick wall around the small area where the nineteen American veterans lie buried.  Now, after 150 years, plans are being made to mark the graves of the veterans with permanent marble markers fashioned after the designs officially sanctioned by the Veterans Administration for veterans of all of America’s wars.

The soldiers buried in the unmarked graves outside Ft. Pulaski died of depravations during their stay at the fort asImmortal 600 POW’s following the federal capture of Pulaski during the late War Between the States.  The Immortal Six Hundred were a group of Confederate officers held as POW’s who organized their own relief organization to seek food and medical care for fellow POW’s while the War was still being waged against the South.  In accordance with laws passed by the United States Congress, all Confederate veterans are to be afforded the same status as the veterans of other American wars.  Union veterans buried on the grounds of National Parks are marked with permanent marble or granite headstones recognizing their names and units of service; likewise all other known Confederate veterans buried in those parks are marked in the same manner.  At Pulaski, the Union veterans who were buried there during the War were disinterred immediately following the conflict and reinterred in a cemetery; these few Confederate veterans buried at Pulaski outside the moat remain, reportedly, the last remaining unmarked known graves of veterans in a National Park.  The National Park Service at first sought to mark the graves in question with wooden markers similar to those used by the federal government for veterans in the historical period immediately following the War.  It was not until the Sons of Confederate Veterans historians pointed out that the Veterans Administration abandoned wooden headboards for the graves of veterans more than a hundred years ago in favor of the more permanent marble and granite stones now used that the correct current plans could be made.

Since it’s formation in 1896, the Sons of Confederate Veterans has been commissioned by its predecessor organization, the United Confederate Veterans (comprised of the actual veterans, themselves) with preserving the history and heritage of the Confederate soldier.   The Georgia Division is among the largest and most active state organization within the SCV.  A date has not yet been set for the installation of the permanent markers for these last remaining unmarked graves of veterans at Pulaski, but the Sons are moving forward with the National Park Service in completing the project before the end of the Sesquicentennial commemoration of the War.

 For more information or to have the SCV present an educational program for your event, please contact Jack Bridwell, Division Commander for the Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans at 1-866-SCV-in-GA or view information online at www.GeorgiaSCV.org.

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