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Within this Collection:

Cover and front matter


Washington County

Frederick County


Washington Confederate Cemetery, Rose Hill, Hagerstown

  Additional Resources:
Indexed List of soldiers in this book

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A descriptive list of the burial places of the remains of Confederate soldiers, who fell in the battles of Antietam, South Mountain, Monocacy, and other points in Washington and Frederick counties, in the state of Maryland

This book, published in 1869, also known as the Bowie List, records the location of the Confederate soldiers buried where they fell on the battlefields or near hospitals and homes where they died after three battles in Maryland during the American Civil War. In later years the remains of many of these soldiers were re-interred in the Washington Confederate Cemetery, Hagerstown or Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick.

The Western Maryland Room of the Washington County Free Library owns one of the few known copies of the book. It was digitized and posted on the Whilbr webpage to make this historical text more widely available. The names listed in the transcription are the best rendition possible of the text, and the spelling of the original text is retained. The text is searchable so a specific person or location can be found. When searching for the soldiers of a particular state use an abbreviation - Va. Ga. Miss. etc. The list is divided into two parts, those buried initially in Washington County and those in Frederick County, Maryland. There is a search that lets a reader browse just the pages that deal with Washington County and another with Frederick.

Sketch by Frank Schell.
First appeared in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, October 18 1862
Burials crews at work on the Roulette Farm along Bloody Lane.

The map which marks the locations of the burial sites is based on the current knowledge of these locations. Where a name in the Remarks and locality column of the text and the name of the property owners on maps of the time match, the burial site is marked. However there are names very common in the area at the time, like Miller and Grove in the Sharpsburg area. Where the selection of the correct location is in doubt, no mark is included on the map. Thus the map does not include the locations of all of the burials mentioned in the text. The places named were checked with three map books produced near the time of the burials:

  • Lake, Griffing & Stevenson. An illustrated atlas of Washington County, Maryland. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lake, Griffing & Stevenson, 1877. 1975 reprint published by Unigraphic, Evansville, Ind.
  • Lake, D. J., Blakeman, H. E. & Hard, Wm. G. Atlas of Frederick County, Maryland from actual surveys by and under the directions of D.J. Lake; assisted by H.E. Blakeman, assisted by Wm. G. Hard. Philadelphia: C.O. Titus, 1873.
  • United States. War Dept. The official military atlas of the Civil War. New York: Fairfax Press, 1983.

Photographer Alexander Gardner. 1862. Confederate dead at Bloody Lane, looking northeast from the south bank. The group of Union soldiers looking on were likely members of the 130th Pennsylvania, who were assigned burial detail on the 19th.

The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, fought September 17 1862 near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was the bloodiest one day battle of the American Civil War. It was also the bloodiest day in American history. Nearly 23,000 American soldiers were listed as casualties. According to the Antietam National Battlefield website 2,100 Union solders were killed, 9,550 were wounded, and 750 were listed as missing or captured. Of the Confederate soldiers, 1,550 were killed, 7,750 were wounded and 1,020 missing or captured. The number of men who died of their wounds or the number of missing who had been killed is not known. A conservative estimate of 20% of the wounded dying of their wounds and 30% of the missing killed gives an approximate number of soldiers who died as a result of this battle at 7,640.

After the battle, burial details performed their enormous task "hastily but imperfectly". It took a week to bury everyone. Graves ranged from single burials to long, shallow trenches accommodating hundreds. For example, William Roulette had over 700 soldiers buried on his farm. Grave markings were haphazard; stone piles, rough-hewn crosses and wooden headboards (the "boards" mentioned in the text). A few soldiers were buried in area church cemeteries. Identities of the dead were discerned, where possible, by marks on belts or cartridge boxes, letters, diaries, and photographs. Given the haste of the burials "their bones, in numerous instances, were uprooted by swine or overturned by the ploughshare and left to bleach upon the surface of the ground."

Photographer Alexander Gardner. 1862. Grave of Lt. John A. Clark with a dead Confederate soldier looking as if his body was just tossed aside.

The charter of the Antietam National Cemetery granted by the legislature of Maryland in 1864, and amended in 1865, provided for the purchase, enclosing and ornamenting of ten acres of land, part of the battlefield of Antietam, as a final resting place for the soldiers who fell in that battle. It declared it was the duty of the Trustees of the respective States to remove the remains of all the soldiers who fell at the battle, and have them properly interred in these grounds. "The remains of the soldiers in the Confederate are to be buried in a part of the grounds separate from those of the Union Army."

The Union soldiers were collected and interred in what is now the Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, which was dedicated on September 17, 1867, five years after the Battle. The Confederate solders were not buried at the same time. The Board of Trustees of the Cemetery did not address the issue at their various meetings. Finally in late 1868 the Trustees for the Cemetery for the State of Maryland wrote to the Governor of Maryland calling attention to the exposed and neglected condition of the Confederate dead, and informed the Governor that many of the trenches and graves were so washed that the bones were laid bare, and in some instance had been turned over by the plow. They requested that some action be taken to protect the dead until they could be removed to a proper place of burial.

In 1869 Governor Bowie requested Thomas Boullt, of Hagerstown, Maryland, one of the Trustees for Maryland in the Antietam Cemetery, employ agents to go over the battlefield and mound up the trenches and graves of the Confederate dead, to make careful notes of the locations and, as far as possible, identify the dead. To accomplish this task, Moses Poffinberger and Aaron Good of Sharpsburg, both well acquainted with the battlefields, were engaged. They visited the trenches and graves of Confederate soldiers in both Washington and Frederick counties, Maryland. This list, published as ordered by Governor Bowie on May 1st, 1869, is the result of that labor and it is believed includes, with a few exceptions, all the Confederate dead buried on the battlefields of Antietam, South Mountain, and Monocacy.

The list was created by Good and Poffinberger seven years after the battles fought near Sharpsburg and on South Mountain. The dead on both sides were buried by Union troops, so priority was given to the Union casualties. Good and Poffinberger in their recording of Confederate burials had to deal with fewer markers that remained legible and in place and so their list, viewed today, contains inaccuracies. For example, on page 33, there is a J. A. J. Tally and a J. A. Talley, both of the 15th Va., buried in Mrs. Lucker’s barn field near an old well. Occasionally there are names listed with regiments who did not fight at Antietam, again the result of poor record keeping at the time of burial or with the passage of time before this list was made. With the help of regimental records, some of the errors can be found.

Those Confederate soldiers who were known to be buried in Washington County and those buried on or near South Mountain in Frederick County were finally reinterred in the Washington Confederate Cemetery in Rose Hill Cemetery, Hagerstown. The dedication took place June 15 1877. Washington Confederate Cemetery, Hagerstown, Maryland is an attempt to list those buried there. Those who died at the Battle of Monocacy near Frederick on July 9 1864 were buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Frederick. There are also Confederates who fought in the Battle of Antietam and Shepherdstown buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Western Maryland Regional Library is grateful to all those who provided information for this project. John Frye of the Western Maryland Room at Washington County Free Library and John Nelson of the Jonathan Hager House and Museum in Hagerstown provided guidance on the location of names mentioned in the text. Other invaluable resources were the Antietam National Battlefield webpage (which also provided the illustrations) and Steven Stotelmyer, The bivouacs of the dead: The story of those who died at Antietam and South Mountain. Baltimore, Md.: Toomey Press, 1992. Curtis Older's The land tracts of the battlefield of South Mountain would also be a useful resource.

Pauline Leitner of Hagerstown assisted with the transcription of this text, and the development of the index of names. Greg Farino of Riverview, Michigan has provided additional information on some of the soldiers, using regimental records.


Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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