Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Unknown Soldier Graves Found at Antietam

The same National Geographic page I discussed in the Teapot post also had a bit on a Civil War story. Again, this was the July 1995 issue.

Civil War buffs metal detecting (I wonder if it was legally?) made a "grisly discovery", four unmarked graves and their contents on the Antietam Battlefield.

National Park Service archaeologists have spent a lot of time analyzing the remains and now believe they have discovered the names of one of the Union soldiers, who were killed near the "Bloody Lane" and buried in shallow graves.

After examining the bones, it was determined that one of the men was in his 40s. Cuff buttons at the site, a rosary, and bullets used by the enlisted men of the Irish Brigade (made up of recent immigrants in NYC) narrowed the search to that organization. A look at records showed that there were only three enlisted men who had died at Antietam who were of that age and whose graves have not been found. They were Privates James McGarigan, Martin McMahan, and James Gallagher. All served with the 63rd New York.

Historical Detective Work at Its Best. --RoadDog

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