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Washington Confederate Cemetery


Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information

   



This map shows the Confederates buried in the Washington Confederate Cemetery. It was drawn by Joseph Coxson, Superintendant of the Cemetery, in 1888. He identifies 346 known individuals and 2122 unknown buried in this cemetery.


...the Maryland General Assembly in 1870 repealed the act of 1868 that had appropriated the $5,000 for the reinterment of Confederates and instead chartered the Washington Confederate Cemetery as "the burial and final resting place of the remains of the Confederate dead, and all other of both armies in the late war." The charter required that the cemetery be located within one mile of Hagerstown.

By 1872 the trustees of the Washington Confederate Cemetery had arranged to purchase for $2,400 two and three-fourths acres of land at Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown. The decisions to locate the Confederate Cemetery within an existing cemetery was based largely on economics. The trustees had at their disposal only the $5,000 reappropriated by the legislature. To purchase and fence in the ground for a new cemetery would exhaust all of the appropriated funds. By purchasing ground within an existing cemetery, the trustees preserved a little more than half of their appropriation for the actual work of reinterring Confederate dead.

The trustees of the Washington Confederate Cemetery contracted with Henry C. Mumma of Sharpsburg to reinter all known Confederate bodies in Antietam field graves. Mumma hired local laborers and in September 1872--ten years after the battle--began the job of reinterring the Confederate dead from Antietam. To save expense, unidentified soldiers were buried two to a grave. Those soldiers who could be identified were buried singly in a wooden box and reinterred in rows grouped by state. By the end of 1872, 1,721 bodies had been reinterred at the Washington Confederate Cemetery. The cemetery trustees had $413.34 remaining in its treasury; for the work done to date, Mumma had been paid about one dollar per Confederate reinterred.

The trustees estimated that an additional 500 Confederates remained to be reinterred, so it decided not to mark the graves of those already reinterred with "common headboards." Instead, the funds would be preserved until the work of reinterring bodies could begin again.

In 1874, the Maryland legislature appropriated another $5,000 for the Washington Confederate Cemetery and the states of Virginia and West Virginia contributed $500 each. In July 1874, Henry Mumma and his men recovered an additional 255 bodies from South Mountain and reinterred them in Washington Confederate Cemetery. This work was accomplished, according to the local newspaper, "at the remarkably small cost of $1.65 per head."

By August 1875, the work of moving the Confederate dead from the Antietam and South Mountain battlefields to Washington Confederate Cemetery was complete. A total of 2,240 bodies had been reinterred. Washington Confederate Cemetery was officially dedicated on June 15, 1877, with Major General Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee, as the principal speaker.

The trustees of Washington Confederate Cemetery never provided individual grave markers for the reinterred soldiers under their care. Initially, the trustees lacked funds to do so; later, when it became apparent that a large percentage of the bodies could not be identified, perhaps it seemed inappropriate to mark the few whose identities had been preserved. In any case, there is only one individual grave marker in the entire cemetery, and it marks the grave of a person who had nothing to do with either Antietam or South Mountain. The marker belongs to Col. Samuel Lumpkins, of Georgia. Badly wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, Lumpkins died of typhoid fever in Hagerstown and was buried at the local Presbyterian church cemetery. In 1913, when the church decided to expand, Lumpkins was reinterred in the Washington Confederate Cemetery. The next year, cemetery trustees purchased a new marker for his grave. Ironically, while Lumpkins has the distinction of having the only headstone in the cemetery, both his name ("Lumkins" instead of "Lumpkins") and his state ("Georgie" instead of "Georgia) are misspelled on it.


... Greg Stiverson, 1993, Maryland State Archives, used with permission.

There have been 16 burials since 1888, including two in 1992. In 2007, a marker was added, commemorating Isaac Avery of North Carolina. See Hagerstown Herald-Mail, November 3, 2007.




ID:
wccc991

Creator:
Joseph Coxson, Superintendant

Notes:
The map is found on a metal tablet at the Washington Confederate Cemetery, which is located within Rose Hill Cemetery, Hagerstown.

Date:
1888

Collection Location:
Western Maryland Room, WCFL

Subject:
Maryland, History, Civil War, 1861-1865, Registers of dead; Cemeteries, Maryland, Washington County; Confederate States of America, Army, Maryland.

Coverage:
Washington and Frederick Counties (Md.), 1868

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

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