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‘There's a nameless grave in the battlefield’ This mute reminder of Antietam s awful cost suggests how many thousand homes were sunk in grief such as the poem After all describes. The soldiers themselves shared this grief. One of their saddest duties was the burial of comrades. When the graves had been dug, if there was found on their person any means of identifying them or if any one knew who they were, little pieces of board were secured and placed at the head of each. On these little boards, pieces of cracker-box, generally, would be placed the name and regiment of the deceased comrade written in pencil. Under the rain and the snows the writing would be obliterated or the boards themselves tumble down, and those lying in their graves on the battlefield would pass into the number of the great ‘unknown.’ There were no opportunities afforded in these burial details to go through any religious forms. The numbers forbade. Yet the lads who formed burial parties always gave their meed of reverence.


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