Hundreds of Confederates Were Buried in Gettysburg’s Fields. This Man’s Task Was to Send Them Home.

For 3 scorching summers, Rufus Weaver toiled to retrieve Accomplice troopers’ stays from crude Gettysburg battlefield graves. His efforts to receives a commission for his laborious work proved to be practically as tough.

In 1889, Weaver wrote to his good friend, Ada Egerton: “Over 16 years have now handed away and at present over twelve thousand {dollars} (together with curiosity) is due me with no line from any of these within the debt—debt which you will have usually actually stated is certainly one of ‘Sacred honor.’” Weaver actually had a proper to be aggrieved, for $12,000 in 1889 is the equal of greater than $350,000 at present.

How did this occur? How might an obligation of this measurement have been created? Weaver was not some Wall Road financier or speculator in land or railroad shares. He was a doctor and a lecturer in human anatomy at a medical faculty in Philadelphia. Who might probably owe him a sum of that measurement?

The unique obligation was created within the decade following the tip of the Civil Conflict, when Southern girls sought to supply correct resting locations for his or her fallen husbands, sons, and fathers. On the finish of the conflict, tens of 1000’s of troopers’ graves dotted battlefields from Pennsylvania to Louisiana. Troopers have been usually buried the place they fell, and any farmer’s area was prone to include a grave.

The realm round Gettysburg, Pa., was no exception. It’s estimated that roughly 7,800 males have been killed throughout the three days of that battle. Almost all have been buried rapidly. Some graves have been marked, different graves have been merely trenches holding dozens of our bodies, unmarked aside from indicators indicating the variety of our bodies therein. Throughout the 9 months following the combat, the our bodies of three,354 Union troopers have been exhumed and reburied in Troopers’ Nationwide Cemetery, devoted in November 1863. The our bodies of Accomplice troopers have been left the place they lay.

Because the U.S. Military superior over outdated battlefields throughout the last yr of the conflict, it found that many males had been buried improperly. In some instances, skeletons carrying tattered Union uniforms lay in plain sight. Appearing beneath the authority of an 1862 act of Congress, the Conflict Division started to rebury the Union useless into what turned generally known as “nationwide” cemeteries.

Accomplice troopers gathered for burial on the Rose Farm and photographed on July 5, 1863. When Weaver started his efforts years later, he discovered farmer
John Rose a tough man to take care of. (Library of Congress)

There the graves of troopers who fought to protect the Union have been protected, cared for, and adorned on the brand new vacation generally known as Memorial Day. As soon as once more, Accomplice useless weren’t welcome in these cemeteries. This rankled many Southerners, so the women of the South took it upon themselves to look after the fallen as they’d cared for the wounded troopers who had fought for “the Trigger.”

A Women Memorial Affiliation was established in nearly each main metropolis within the South, its goal being to look after the graves of Accomplice useless. In some instances, that was merely a matter of adorning the graves in current cemeteries, however in locations like Winchester, Va., the place a substantial amount of combating had occurred in surrounding areas, there was extra work to do however treasured few sources with which to do it. An attraction revealed in newspapers throughout the South raised sufficient cash to permit the women to purchase land and collect the stays of two,489 Accomplice troopers who had been buried in scattered locations throughout the decrease Shenandoah Valley.

With nice ceremony, they have been reburied within the new Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, Va., devoted in 1866. Nevertheless, the graves of males who had fallen in far-off locations like Antietam and Gettysburg have been past the women’ attain, each bodily and financially. Some particular person households have been capable of make the trek, however operations on a mass scale must wait till the South recovered financially.

Stories started to succeed in Southern ears in the summertime of 1869 that the Northern graves of their fallen sons have been being obliterated by years of plowing and neglect. The women of the South sprang into motion, and earlier than the tip of the yr the Women Memorial Associations of Charleston, Raleigh, Richmond, and Savannah have been elevating funds to pay for the exhumation, switch, and reburial of their native soil of the fallen troopers from their states.

It’s unknown if Rufus Weaver was in Gettysburg on the time of the battle, however he actually would have heard from members of the family in regards to the devastation of the battle. (Particular Collections and School Archives, Musselman Library, Gettysburg School)

The ladies appealed to a person named Samuel Weaver, who had been accountable in 1863 for transferring the stays of fallen Union troopers into the Troopers’ Nationwide Cemetery in Gettysburg. Weaver will need to have been a compassionate man, or maybe he sensed a future enterprise alternative, for he made a file of Accomplice graves the place he discovered them. His listing could be the start line for these wishing to find Southern stays.

Sadly for the women of the South, Samuel Weaver was killed in a railroad accident in February 1871. His listing, nevertheless, had handed into the fingers of his son, Rufus.

Rufus Weaver was born in Gettysburg in 1841 and graduated from Pennsylvania (now Gettysburg) School in 1862. Upon graduating, Rufus went to Philadelphia to check anatomy, with the objective of changing into a health care provider. By the spring of 1871, he was a lecturer in anatomy at Hahnemann Medical School. Apart from being in possession of his father’s lists, his information of human anatomy ready him for the enterprise of recognizing and retrieving human stays.

Throughout the spring and summer time of 1871, Dr. Weaver labored for the women of the Charleston,  S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Wake County (Raleigh, N.C.) Memorial Associations to exhume troopers from these states and ship them dwelling. Eighty-four units of stays have been despatched to Charleston, the place a dedication ceremony was held on Could 10, 1871.

The vast majority of these stays have been retrieved from the Rose Farm, throughout which Brig. Gen. Joseph Kershaw’s Brigade superior on the afternoon of July 2, and from the cemetery and orchard close to the Black Horse Tavern on the Fairfield Highway, which served as the sector hospital for Kershaw’s Brigade. A dozen extra have been faraway from the cemetery at Camp Letterman, the big normal hospital managed by the Military of the Potomac’s medical corps, positioned on the York Highway east of Gettysburg.

Apparently, farmer John Rose was not sympathetic to their mission. In line with an article written in 1929, Rose refused to let the our bodies be eliminated until the women have been prepared to pay for them. The perseverance of the president of the affiliation, nevertheless, “aided by [an unnamed] farmer’s spouse,” lastly secured his permission with out compensation.

Simon Elliot’s map reveals the extent of Gettysburg battlefield burials. Weaver exhumed Elijah Amick, above, of the fifteenth South Carolina from his Camp Letterman grave in 1871. Amick now lies in Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery. (Library of Congress; Charles T. Joyce Assortment)

Rose was not the one native farmer who noticed the efforts to take away Accomplice useless as a chance to recoup monetary losses suffered throughout the battle. Throughout that summer time of 1871, the household of Lt. Col. David Winn of the 4th Georgia contracted with Weaver to gather and return his physique, which had been buried on the David Blocher Farm. However Blocher demanded to be paid for permitting the stays to relaxation within the floor so long as they’d.

Weaver ultimately succeeded “by way of dint of persuasion and shaming” to get Blocher’s permission to exhume the our bodies, however sooner or later Blocher found that the useless man, Winn, had worn a gold dental plate to which have been connected his false enamel. Blocher eliminated the plate and refused to provide it up till he was given $10. He was ultimately paid $5. In a letter written to the household on October 9, 1871, Weaver referred to Blocher’s “depravity and meanness” however assured them that different graves have been being cared for and revered by the landowners.

Later that summer time, 100 units of stays have been despatched to Savannah, the place they have been reinterred with ceremonies in August and September. The final exhumations undertaken that yr have been of North Carolina troopers. Of the 137 units of stays despatched to Raleigh and honored with a dedication ceremony on October 1 have been 45 troopers buried at Camp Letterman and 27 buried on the Jacob Hanky Farm on the Mummasburg Highway, which served as a area hospital for Maj. Gen. Robert Rodes’ Division.

Thus far, apparently Weaver had been charged solely with recovering recognized stays (though the North Carolina cargo included 14 units that have been unidentified). In a letter written to Mrs. Ok.L. Campbell of Savannah on October 9, 1871, Weaver wrote that he hoped the women of Savannah and Raleigh would be capable to procure sufficient help to permit them to ship for his or her unknown useless within the spring.

Quite a few Gettysburg-area barns turned hospitals, together with the Martin Shealer barn east of city alongside the Hunterstown Highway. In 1932, an area paper wrote, “Forty-four Accomplice troopers…died on this constructing, and their our bodies have been buried inside 100 toes of the construction.” (Dana B. Shoaf Assortment)

He went on to say that “I’ve despatched South all of the State lists and none however you, North Carolina and South Carolina have accomplished something….It appears very unusual to me that Virginia, who’s so close to and whose identified listing just isn’t so nice as yours doesn’t recall her useless.” He went on to say that “if all might see what I’ve seen and know what I do know, I’m positive that there could be no relaxation till each Southern father, brother and son could be faraway from the North.”

It was not lengthy earlier than Weaver heard from the Virginians. In November 1871, Mrs. E.H. Brown, secretary of the Hollywood Memorial Affiliation (HMA) of Richmond, wrote to Dr. Weaver, who by then had returned to his educational put up in Philadelphia, and requested that he meet her in Gettysburg with the intention to “enter into preparations and make contracts for the elimination of the Accomplice Virginia troopers from Gettysburg to Richmond.” She was accompanied by Captain Charles Dimmock, previously of the Accomplice Corps of Engineers, at the moment metropolis engineer of Richmond.

The go to will need to have proved passable to all events, for in February 1872 Weaver equipped Dimmock with an inventory of the stays he meant to gather and apparently advised that the women apply to the state of Pennsylvania for monetary help with the undertaking. Dimmock replied that “the suggestion contained in your final [letter] is scarcely out there, as our girls couldn’t ask the help you intend. They really feel assured that in a cost-effective means they will meet all of the bills incident to the elimination, and whereas they might not put apart such voluntary help as your Legislature would possibly lengthen, nonetheless they can’t consent to invoke it.” In different phrases, the proud girls of Virginia wouldn’t ask for help from any Northerner on this undertaking besides Weaver, whom they have been paying to do the work.

By April 20, the HMA had forwarded funds in order that work might start as quickly as Dr. Weaver might go to Gettysburg. The funds have been deposited at Brown Lancaster & Co. of Baltimore, paid to the order of Mrs. A.D. Egerton of that metropolis. Ada Egerton, generally known as Adeline, got here from a household of Southern sympathizers. Her husband was born in Virginia, and his brother, C.C. Egerton, was imprisoned at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry in late July 1862 for suspected pro-Southern actions.

Cemetery centerpieces
The Hollywood Memorial Affiliation raised cash in 1869 to erect a 90-foot pyramidal construction in Hollywood Cemetery fabricated from James River granite, prime. The easier North Carolina monument at Winchester’s Stonewall Cemetery, above, honors 452 Accomplice useless from that state. (Library of Congress; Picture by Melissa A. Winn)

Ada was lively in efforts to supply help to Accomplice prisoners at Level Lookout in Southern Maryland throughout the conflict, and after the conflict was very concerned with the Southern Aid Society. An important Southern Aid Truthful was held in Baltimore in April 1866, the proceeds of which have been meant to assist restoration efforts within the nonetheless devastated South. She was a member of the three-woman committee appointed to distribute funds allotted for the reduction of Virginia.

Mrs. Egerton would act as middleman between Dr. Weaver and the HMA for the subsequent 30 years. Whereas it’s possible that she turned acquainted with the women of the HMA by way of her affiliation with the Southern Aid Truthful, it’s unclear how she turned acquainted with Weaver. An article in The Baltimore Solar, revealed shortly after her dying in 1906, offers a clue. The article states that Egerton stored a boarding home in Baltimore after the conflict, and “practically each distinguished man who got here to Baltimore to lecture on the Hopkins [Johns Hopkins University] both stopped together with her or visited her home.” Within the absence of every other rationalization for the connection, it’s attainable that Weaver would possibly sooner or later have visited the medical neighborhood in Baltimore and been a visitor at Mrs. Egerton’s home.

Sooner or later, the women of the Hollywood Memorial Affiliation expanded the scope of the enterprise to incorporate all unidentified stays, along with the identified Virginia useless. Weaver started work in April 1872, writing to Mrs. Egerton, “The farmers at the moment are getting their land prepared for corn and I need to do all I can earlier than the fields are planted.” On June 13 a primary cargo of 708 stays was despatched to Richmond. One week later, the containers containing the stays have been unloaded from steamers on the wharves in Richmond and solemnly escorted by way of the streets.

The wagons have been draped in black bunting, and have been accompanied by greater than a thousand former Accomplice troopers, amongst them Generals George Pickett, John Imboden, and James Lane, in addition to bands enjoying mournful dirges. The streets have been lined with weeping spectators, and after they have been laid to relaxation on what would grow to be generally known as Gettysburg Hill in Hollywood Cemetery, the Rev. Dr. Moses D. Hoge thanked God that “our sons and brothers” had been returned from their “graves amongst strangers.”

United Daughters of the Confederacy members at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery. (United Daughters of the Confederacy members at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery)

A second cargo of 882 stays was despatched August 3, and a last cargo of 683 stays was despatched September 10 for that yr. The agreed-upon value was $3.25 for every set of stays. Weaver billed the HMA $7,385 for these shipments, however by the tip of the yr had obtained simply $1,300.

Regardless of the cash nonetheless owed to him, Weaver commenced work once more within the spring of 1873, transport 333 units of stays on Could 17 in time for the Memorial Day celebration on Gettysburg Hill. He despatched one other 256 in June and a last 73 in early October. He was pushing the work as he knew that if it have been delay for much longer there could be little left to retrieve. “The fixed farming over the graves, the stays have been usually yielding to decay or absorption, and therefore the work needed to be accomplished then or by no means,” he wrote years later. Throughout the summer time of 1872, a minimum of, he employed what he known as a “full power” of laborers with the intention to full the work as shortly as attainable, and Weaver was paying the lads out of his personal pocket. He billed the women $2,151 for these shipments, for which he obtained funds totaling $880.

Why did Weaver proceed the job in 1873 when he hadn’t been paid for his labors of 1872? He may need assumed that, primarily based on his prior expertise with the women of Savannah, Raleigh, and Charleston, that he had no cause to fret, for these associations had paid their payments in full. He had additionally been assured by Captain Dimmock in early 1872 that the women had $4,000 “in hand for the Gettysburg useless.”

Sadly for Weaver and the women of the HMA, their funds had been deposited with Maury & Co., a Richmond banking home that fell sufferer to the Panic of 1873. In June 1873, nevertheless, Colonel W. C. Carrington, a member of the Southern Cross Brotherhood in Richmond (a fraternal group of former Accomplice officers), knowledgeable Egerton that Mrs. Brown had instructed him that “she had sufficient Gettysburg funds to complete eradicating all our useless from that time however they have been within the fingers of a banker who will lastly pay out however [has] suspended and thus locked the cash up for the current.” Carrington instructed Egerton that Weaver might “safely depend on eventual fee of all due on that rating.”

Throughout the postwar years, Southern girls drove the favored motion to type memorial associations to deliver Accomplice useless again to their native states for reburial. (College of South Carolina, South Carolina Library; Accomplice Memorial Affiliation)

The women of the HMA actually tried to gather what was due them from Maury & Co. In March 1874, Main Robert Stiles, a Richmond lawyer, wrote to Mrs. Egerton that one of many notes due from Maury had come due on March 1. Mrs. Brown went to the financial institution early that day, he reported, “however nothing may very well be accomplished. Mr. Maury has given landed safety and the matter is ultimately secured and Dr. Weaver will definitely safe funds when realized.” Sadly, Main Stiles was fallacious.

It seems that Weaver obtained no funds from the HMA between July 1873 and December 1878, at which era he will need to have once more requested Egerton for assist. In a December 25, 1878, letter written apparently to Mrs. Brown, Egerton complained that she had “written you infrequently for the previous three years on this topic with out one phrase of reply” and knowledgeable her that she had requested Stiles and Decide J.H.C. Jones to “see you on this topic.”

It isn’t identified whether or not Egerton obtained a reply from any of those events. As soon as Accomplice useless had been retrieved, and missing funds for every other enterprises, the HMA basically dissolved. In early 1889, nevertheless, Weaver urged Egerton to make one other effort. Along with the $6,356 of unpaid principal, Weaver calculated curiosity on the unpaid debt of greater than $6,000. “Now and again I learn within the papers of labor occurring in elevating cash for the erection of monuments and so on. in reminiscence of the Accomplice useless, and but there stays this unpaid debt….My pricey Mrs. Egerton, might I urge you to a different effort on this lengthy delayed matter which causes me severe embarrassment?”

Egerton responded by calling upon a lot of folks in Richmond whom she thought may need some affect within the matter, amongst them Stiles and Dr. Hunter McGuire, and members of the now-revived HMA. The paperwork she offered precipitated fairly a stir among the many girls of the affiliation. Kate Pleasants Minor, the brand new secretary of the HMA, referred to it as “thunder in a transparent sky.” Many who have been members in 1871-73 had died or moved away. Others, when solicited, claimed to don’t have any reminiscence of any such obligations.

After two years spent soliciting former members for info—and, it should be assumed, merely dithering—the women lastly wrote to Weaver to inform him they’d turned the matter over to their all-male advisory board to find out the legitimacy of his declare. Weaver was requested to journey to Richmond to fulfill with the board, which included such influential members as Robert Bryan, lawyer, financier, and newspaper editor; W.E. Cutshaw, who succeeded Charles Dimmock as Richmond metropolis engineer; and Robert Stiles. On December 31, 1891, the Board gave the women the unwelcome information that Weaver’s claims have been reliable. They advised that the women signal over to Dr. Weaver their declare in opposition to R.H. Maury & Co., amounting to about $3,800 at the moment, acknowledging that that quantity fell far in need of the roughly $12,000 owed.

The women sprang into motion, however argued that they “couldn’t morally be held answerable for the delay within the fee of a debt of whose existence [they] had all been ignorant” and due to this fact shouldn’t be obliged to pay curiosity on that debt. Weaver agreed to forgo the curiosity if the unique principal of $6,356 may very well be paid. The distinction between that and the quantity anticipated to be recovered from the Maury chapter amounted to about $3,000. To cowl that, the women needed to petition the Virginia legislature for the funds, however the advisory board suggested in opposition to that.

The women ignored the board and instantly went to work. They petitioned influential members of the legislature, and Board member Joseph Bryan offered their declare earlier than the state Finance Committee. It labored. A fee of $3,000 to Weaver was included within the normal appropriations invoice. The women appeared to really feel that the matter was settled, leaving them with no additional duty.

When notified of the legislature’s motion, Weaver wrote a heartfelt letter of due to Robert Stiles wherein he reveals the extent of care and compassion he dedicated to the duty for which they’d engaged his companies. “It engaged my time from April nineteenth to Sep tenth 1872, & from April ninth to Oct third 1873 excluding seven weeks which I spent in Washington, D.C. acquiring information and copying over 14,000 names and so on from the unique information of the Accomplice useless. I not solely superintended the overall work on the sector, however personally did an important half myself, viz selecting up the bones for, within the absence of containers, it required one with Anatomical Information, to assemble all of the bones; (which workmen couldn’t do) and, relating to every bone essential and sacred as an integral a part of the skeleton, I’ve moved them in order that none could be left or misplaced.”

“Had I adopted the 8 or 10 hour system for a day’s work, it will have taken twice as lengthy to have accomplished the work….My customized was by, and fairly often earlier than, dawn to start out out on the sector with my males and wouldn’t attain dwelling, with treasured freight, till darkish, & after supper I might organize, in correct place and order, and Label each stay or lot of stays, after which by the point I had written out the file and so on. of every stays it will be midnight & after, for invariably I organized the information for every day’s work as I went alongside earlier than retiring, thus usually being engaged from 18 to twenty out of the 24 hours…for the work needed to be accomplished then or by no means….”

It’s attention-grabbing that on the lists that accompanied every cargo, Weaver made cautious notes in regards to the unique burial location for every set of stays. Notations like “east of Mr. E. Pitzer’s home in meadow beneath peach tree” and “beneath walnut tree at bend of the street on Mr. Crawford’s farm 3½ miles from Gettysburg on Marsh Creek” are frequent.

Weaver praised the women for his or her efforts however stopped in need of calling the debt settled. “After I be taught that the Maury property will yield any sufficient proportion of the unique debt to warrant my doing so, I’ll with out criticism launch all declare for curiosity, though I’ve suffered critically by lengthy ready for the principal,” he instructed Kate Minor in a letter dated April 18, 1892.

Weaver was far much less sanguine than the women in regards to the prospects of restoration from the Maury property. The women accepted with out query their male advisors’ assurances that the funds could be recovered. Weaver the truth is obtained three small funds from the Maury property over the subsequent 12 months totaling $1,250.81. These have been the final funds he would obtain.

He didn’t hand over, nevertheless. Eight years later, in December 1901, he wrote once more to Egerton, asking if she would once more go to Richmond, both with him or on her personal. By this time, Egerton was greater than 70 years outdated and Weaver was 60. He additionally wrote to Kate Minor, asking what progress had been made within the settlement of the Maury declare. It isn’t clear what prompted this letter. Maybe it was nothing greater than the strategy of one other yr’s finish that made him need to resolve this matter ultimately. Regardless of the trigger, he allowed greater than a touch of frustration to seep into this letter. “Properly on to 9 years have elapsed since I’ve obtained any communication from the Affiliation,” he instructed her. “Throughout this lengthy interval, I’ve been ready and hoping most patiently, as I did for twenty years prior to the current Affiliation’s assumption of the duty for the debt. Being beforehand upset, and most wanting to know what progress is being made within the settlement of the Maury declare, will you please inform me…what the prospects are for an early fee of the steadiness ($1196.34) on the principal of the unique debt?”

Minor’s response was additionally much less courteous than earlier than. The truth is, she was downright dismissive. “We’ve got relinquished to you all our belongings [and] have ever since felt that our duty was at an finish. I’m due to this fact considerably at a loss to know why you will have been ready for us to maneuver within the matter. We by no means undertook to gather something from the Maury property….After all if any of this cash had been paid to us we’d have wanted no reminder from you that we had agreed to show it over to you.”

This letter was written in pencil, and the thickness with which some phrases have been written conveys the extent of her irritation. “There may be completely no cash to get and no authorized steps by which you may safe it if there have been” is written in thick strokes.

Two weeks later, Weaver wrote Egerton once more, asking her to inquire amongst her buddies in Richmond if there was something extra available from the Maury property. He wrote that he had been instructed in Could 1893 that some land was to be offered within the very close to future, but he “had not had a copper nor a phrase” since that date.

It seems that Egerton may need taken a special tack this time, for in 1902 a member of the Richmond chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy reported to the HMA that an attraction had been made to UDC chapters throughout the South for the funds wanted to pay the remaining debt owed to Weaver. As soon as once more, the women of the HMA reacted angrily, demanding the UDC stop its efforts in that regard as a result of the matter “is totally between the HMA and Dr. Weaver.” Their response may need stemmed from the rising rivalry between the women of the HMA and the newer, bigger group.

In a 1901 letter, a Hollywood Memorial Affiliation member wrote this letter to Weaver, emphasizing, “There may be completely no cash….” Weaver would by no means totally accumulate what he was owed for his work. (Courtesy of Janet McCabe)

The UDC was a product of the Eighteen Nineties, and its membership and affect have been starting to eclipse that of the older memorial associations. Whereas the women of the HMA primarily have been involved with honoring the useless, the youthful members of the UDC have been centered on influencing the longer term by shaping the minds of the younger. Weaver’s reliable declare sadly fell sufferer to the animosity of the HMA towards the UDC.

Why didn’t Weaver sue the HMA for the cash he was owed? The clue to that lies in a remark made in a draft letter written by a member of the HMA in late 1891. “Having been first organized when Virginia was beneath navy rule, [the HMA] had by no means been included.”Having no company physique to sue, his solely recourse could be to sue the women individually or proceed to depend on their sense of honor.

If Weaver ever obtained one other “copper” from the Maury property or the HMA, there is no such thing as a file of it. Though he wrote that their failure to reimburse him had precipitated him “severe embarrassment,” his medical profession seems to have offered him with sufficient earnings to dwell comfortably. He continued to really feel, nevertheless, that he had been used poorly by the women of the HMA. “In an ethical respect,” he wrote to Egerton in April 1889, “the debt is certainly one of honor, so sacred that any particular person or group ought to blush for disgrace one would suppose to allow it to go unpaid. All of the legal professionals within the land can not wipe out the sacred obligation imposed on the Affiliation for its liquidation.”

“You possibly can inform them,” he goes on to say, “that my confidence was so implicit in them (Virginians!)” he emphasised, “that I advised to the affiliation per Capt. Dimmock that try to be the ‘go between’ them and me,” feeling that her involvement—“certainly one of their very own,” he known as her—would make them extra snug of their dealings with him, a stranger.

Ada Egerton died 4 years later at age 77. Rufus Weaver lived to the ripe outdated age of 95, passing away peacefully in 1936. His obituary in The Philadelphia Inquirer lauds his lengthy profession as a professor of anatomy at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia, the place he turned well-known for being the primary individual to efficiently dissect the whole cerebrospinal nervous system of a human being. That dissection contributed drastically to medical training and continues to be on show at Drexel College School of Medication. The obituary says nothing, nevertheless, about his selfless efforts to return the Accomplice useless at Gettysburg to their native soil, efforts that went largely unrewarded.

His tombstone in Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia is a straightforward affair, engraved solely together with his identify, date of delivery, and date of dying. Lately, nevertheless, Weaver has begun to obtain the popularity he deserves. His efforts are famous on a lovely monument erected in Raleigh’s Oakwood Cemetery in 1997, the place 137 units of stays that Weaver recovered have been reinterred in 1871. In 2014, a bronze marker honoring Weaver was erected on Lefevre Road in Gettysburg, and in 2015 the same plaque was positioned in Hollywood Cemetery, on Gettysburg Hill, “acknowledging a debt of honor owed by all Southerners, and recognizing his generosity and humanity.” Maybe, in spite of everything, it’s higher to be memorialized in bronze than to be paid in coppers.

Janet S. McCabe volunteers on the George Spangler Farm & Area Hospital at Gettysburg and is a lifelong pupil of Civil Conflict historical past. She holds a B.S. in Economics from the College of Virginia and an MBA from Dartmouth School.


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