Burial Places of Confederate Soldiers
wards the State of Maryland which originated the scheme, purchased the ground, enacted the law and made two appropriations to carry out its object, makes it the clear duty of the Trustees to effectuate as far as lies in their power the known intent of the act, and that such a course will meet the approval of the people of the loyal States who have become parties to the corporation and whose dead repose in the Cemetery.
A strong local and individual feeling in the neighborhood of Antietam and other parts of Maryland, naturally engendered by the invasion, may have created some indifference in regard to the remains of the Confederate dead, and an indisposition to see them buried side by side with those who died in the defence of our nationality.
But it is confidently believed that no such feeling pervades the breasts of the American people, or the surviving officers and soldiers of the Union Army.
When we recall the generosity and moderation that marked the conduct of the people, the Government and the army during the war, the magnanimity that presided at its close; when we remember that our countrymen are now engaged in the work of reconstructing the Union on the basis of universal freedom and with an earnest desire to restore to the Southern States a prosperity infinitely greater than that which slavery and rebellion conspired to destroy, it is impossible to believe that they would desire to make an invidious distinction against the moldering remains of the Confederate dead, or that they would disapprove of their being carefully gathered from the spots where they fell, and laid to rest in the National Cemetery on the battle field of Antietam.
Conquerers as we were in that great struggle, our stern disapproval of the cause in which they fought need not forbid our admiration of the bravery with which they died. They were Americans, misguided indeed and misled, but still our countrymen and we cannot remember them now either with enmity or unkindness.
The hostility of the generous and heroic ends with death, and brief as our history is, it has furnished an early and striking example. The British and Americans who fell at Plattsburg sleep side by side, and a common monument on the plains of Abraham attests the heroism of Wolf and Montcalme.
To-day nothing perhaps could sooner awaken a national spirit in the heart of the South, than the thought that representatives of the Northern States were gathering the remains of its fallen sons for interment in our National Cemetery; and in future days when our country is one, not alone in its boundaries, but in spirit and affection, and the recent struggle is remembered as a war less of sections than of systems, the Cemetery at Antietam with its colossal Statue of a Union Soldier keeping guard
Maryland. Board of Trustees of the Antietam National Cemetery
Washington County Free Library
14 x 22 cms
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Registers of dead--Confederate side.