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6687RE: [TalkAntietam] Re: Burial duty at Antietam: burning of bodies?

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  • Thomas G. Clemens
    Nov 11, 2011
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      It is rare. Years ago I ran across a letter from a Union soldier noting they burned bodies of Confederate bodies on Maryland heights since the ground was too difficult to dig. I think I persuaded Dennis Frye to buy it for Harpers Ferry NHP.
      From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Stephen Recker [recker@...]
      Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 8:33 AM
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Burial duty at Antietam: burning of bodies?


      I remember hearing about amputated limbs thrown out the windows of the Dunker Church. When the pile got to the window sill they would be loaded in a wagon and driven down the Smoketown Road to be burned in the East Woods. Can't remember where I got that one, though. You might ask Alann Schmidt.

      Stephen Recker

      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TalkAntietam%40yahoogroups.com>, "cowie_steve" <cowie_steve@...> wrote:
      > To the forum:
      > John C. Sunderlin, 5th Vermont Infantry, wrote from Williamsport on September 21, 1862 (in part):
      > "...we were again engaged I suppose in one of the most terrible battles ever fought on this Continent. Our regiment suffered little though exposed to steady danger for most two days. O the heaps and heaps of dead and dying the day after the battle, a pleasant one too, the air stank for five miles around caused by the dead bodies though lots of men were engaged burying them and had been busy day and night. Last night [Sept. 20] as we passed the different fields, for the battle extended five or six miles, they were burning the bodies of men and horses that could not be moved, and the air stank so in some places that one could hardly breathe..."
      > While we've all read accounts of horse carcasses being burned after the battle, has anyone come across any sources describing the intentional burning of human remains?
      > Steve

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