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Posted By: on: 07/27/2000 14:10:30 EDT
Subject: RE: Sharpshooters grave

Message Detail:
Staying on the sharpshooter subject I have a question for everyone. No matter which position the sharpshooter was in last, does it make sense that his body would have been buried nearby? Is it possible it is still there? A lone grave in a fairly remote area could have been overlooked very easily when the southern dead were moved to cemeterys in the south. Would the uniform buttons still be intact enough to tell what state they were from? Does anyone know if any digs have ever been done in this area? Bullets of the type used in a heavy sniper rifle if found would prove that the soldier was indeed a legitimate sharpshooter. The odds are high but I believe the evidence is there to prove one theory right.

Hi Gunrunner, I forget what, if any, speculation on this Groves may have theorized, but it would be my guess that the soldier was definitely buried very close to the area. We know that many were buried in the Devil's Den/Plum Run area, with reports of many bones resurfacing even decades after the battle. If he were buried in a single, unmarked grave somewhere near DD or the top of the Triangular Field, remains may very well be there if missed. I think Coco theorizes that perhaps up to 1000 Confederate graves might have gone unnoticed. It's unknown, of course, whether our Sharpshooter ended up in a single shallow grave or in a mass trench.
As far as buttons and other artifacts go, I've read it depends on soil conditions... many well-preserved buttons have been found in GB and other battlefields (most recently those dug up when the utility poles along the Emmitsburg Road were removed a couple years ago), while others have been found so corroded they're hopeless to identify. Also, I seem to recall that when those remains in the Railroad Cut were discovered a few years back, both Union and Confederate buttons were found there.
J.D.

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