2010-08-18 / Letters

Dear Editor:

The last several weeks have been heady ones this community has seldom seen in recent memory. The news of an archaeological discovery at Magnolia Springs has whetted the appetite and caused imaginations to run wild; from lost Confederate gold to General Lee’s saddle with the horse still under it to a previously unknown mass burial trench. Just two weeks ago the News saw fit to publish my thoughts on what is there, the footprints of the bread ovens. Over the course of these last few days, and after consulting a few books on the subject of Camp Lawton, I’d like to offer yet another idea.

The Union soldiers were quartered on the opposite side of the stream…the bread ovens were on that slope…and when Kilpatrick’s cavalry (part of the Twentieth Corps) made its way to the stockade about the 27/28th November 1864, David Anderson of the 19th Michigan wrote, “We found the bodies of several of our men lying unburied in this loathsome den; consigning them to the parent earth, our bugles sounded, and falling in line, solemnly and sadly we moved away,” - from Southern Storm, by Noah Andre Trudeau, HarperCollins Publishers, 2008, pg 326.

If these men were buried in the encamped area where they were found and not taken out of the stockade…If the graves were unmarked or poorly marked…If when the burial trench was exhumed in 1866 and these graves were unknown to those responsible for that duty…then it serves to believe that human remains may indeed have been found in the area now encircled with a security fence.

By the time this is published the truth will be known. I’ve got as good a chance to be wrong as anybody. I’ll be there as a student of history…you owe it to yourself to be there for this historical occasion also.

Darryl Drake Herndon Community

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