Confederate veterans are reburied


Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Drums sounded a slow, mournful cadence as hundreds of Civil War re-.enactors marched in a funeral cortege Friday for 22 Confederate soldiers and sailors whose bodies were found this year.

The remains were recovered during an archaeological dig at The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium, built over an old mariners graveyard. The stadium was erected in 1948, but because of a clerical error, the dead were never moved.

It was the largest Confederate funeral in South Carolina in almost 130 years, organizers said. The bodies of 86 South Carolinians who died at Gettysburg were brought back in 1871.

About 300 re-enactors marched four abreast with rifles over their shoulders as the procession wound from Charleston's historic district to Magnolia Cemetery on the outskirts of town. Some were dressed in Confederate gray and butternut and a few were in Union blue.

The remains, in small wooden coffins draped in Confederate flags, were carried on seven caissons drawn by horses and mules. About two dozen women, dressed in black with hoop skirts, also walked in the funeral train.

At the cemetery, the coffins were lowered into a common trench. The congregation sang "Dixie," a lone bagpiper sounded "Amazing Grace," and re-enactors fired rifle and artillery salutes.

A coffin containing the remains of a child was also interred. The remains found under the stadium are thought to be the child of one of the Confederates.

The soldiers and sailors were "young men who were willing to stand up and fight for what they believed in, even when the odds were overwhelming," the Rev. C. Lynn Bailey told about 1,500 people standing amid the gravestones.

State Sen. Glenn McConnell, dressed as a private from a South Carolina unit, said the funeral culminated a long effort to recover the remains.

"It's very satisfying to all these re-enactors out here to re-create history this weekend," he said.

The remains of four men thought to be crew members of the Confederate submarine Hunley, the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship, were also found under the stadium.

They will be reburied in a funeral next year.


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