I recently surfed upon several Louisiana websites, dedicated to preservation and local history in Louisiana. The Mansfield Battlefield and the Minden Cemetery Blog. An article in the Shreveport newspaper today ties them both together in history.
Dedication for unknown soldiers’ graves Saturday
March 25, 2008
The dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Minden Cemetery, located on Bayou Avenue off of Pine Street, will include a living history presentation. It is open to the public.
From Staff Reports
MINDEN — In the back right corner of the old section of the Minden Cemetery are the graves of more than 20 unknown Civil War Confederate soldiers.
This hallowed ground of 144 years has never been forgotten. Even though the soldiers names may be lost forever to the future, their lives are remembered for their bravery and valor in April 1864, said Schelley Brown, organizer of a dedication ceremony set for 1 p.m. Saturday.
Sons of the Confederacy Camp members from El Dorado, Shreveport, Claiborne, Ruston, Farmerville and West Monroe are expected to participate, along with local members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
“This will be a wonderful time to show children what history a cemetery holds and how important remembering the past is for our future,” Brown said.
The soldiers more than likely were from the Walker Texas Division and General Polinac’s Division of Louisiana. During the bloody and furious battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill these men were wounded and brought to Minden to be treated for their wounds. Both of these divisions had been in Minden before, having wintered in or near Minden in 1864.
“Like so many Civil War soldiers many were lost and never heard from again. They are somewhere across these U.S. buried in unmarked graves or left to scatter to the wind over 144 years ago.
“Many a loved one would only hope that their dear departed would have been laid to rest with the respect that the long plot in the Minden Cemetery represents,” she said.
The soldiers’ remains are in what has become known as the “Civil War Trench.” It is estimated that between 20 to 30 bodies lie buried along this concrete line.
One, Pvt. Thomas L. Anderson, was identified a few years ago by his family through genealogy research. He has a marker; the rest do not, Brown said.
In 2007, the T.M. Scott Camp of Minden’s Son’s of Confederate Veterans, representing direct descendants of Civil War Confederate veterans, contacted Brown through spokesman Barry Watson with a request to erect markers for the unknown soldiers.
The 21 stones were delivered earlier this year and volunteers representing Camp members from Minden, Claiborne Parish and El Dorado, Ark., came together a few weeks ago to install them.
Said Brown: “Having worked with the Sons of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the Confederacy on several occasion(s) during the annual Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk, I was thrilled that they were taking this project under their wing. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and remember these soldiers in a historic manner. “After 144 years, these men finally have a headstone to show that they are there.”