The final resting place of more than 2,000 Confederate soldiers
from the Maryland Campaign of 1862 is located in Hagerstown, MD.
Of those soldiers, only 346 were able to be identified.
By 1867, Union dead were re-interred at the Antietam National
Cementery. However, Confederate dead remained where they had been
buried after the battles of South Mountain and Antietam in
September of 1862. Many of the burial trenches had eroded or
farmers had plowed their fields exposing bones, creating an eerie
reminder of the horrific battles.
Bitterness over the recently concluded Civil War remained and the
South was unable to produce funds to aid in the establishment of
the National Cementery. Finally in 1870, the Maryland General
Assembly created the Washington Confederate Cementery,
appropriating $5,000 for the re-interment of the Confederate
Two years later, a suitable location for the cementery was found.
it would be as section of the pre-existing Rose Hill Cementery,
estabilished in 1866. In September of 1872, ten years after the
Battle of Antietam, the arduous task of exhuming remains and re-
interring them at The Washington Confederate Cementery began.
Those Confederates who could be identified were buried according
to their state but the majority were buried in rows and labeled
The re-interment was complete by 1874. Remains of 2,240
Confederate soldiers had been successfully moved to Washington
Confederate Cementery. On February 28, a monument
represeting "hope" was placed at the cementery.
The Washington Confederate Cementery was officially dedicated on
June 15, 1877. Special trains ran from Washington, Baltimore and
Shepherdstown that day. Former Confederate Major General Fitzhugh
Lee, nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, dedicated the
cementery. A procession led from the Hagerstown square to the
cementery and the graves were strewn with flowers.
Serving as a valuable record of our history, the cementery
commemorates those brave young men who lost their lives in 1862,
whether their names are known or "known only to God."
--taken from the Washington County Visitor Guide, page 13