The Sentinel offers “Graves in the Valley” throughout September, looking at some of the famous and infamous people buried in cemeteries of the Cumberland Valley:
500 U.S. Civil War Union Soldiers
THE HISTORY: According to the National Parks Service (nps.gov), Ashland Cemetery in Carlisle contains a Soldiers’ Lot with the remains of more than 500 Union soldiers from the Civil War. Only 35 of the soldiers are identified. The website said the government placed a granite monument at the gravesite in 1960 with an inscription that reads, “500 U.S. Soldiers of the Civil War Are Here Interred/The Others Are Known But To God.”
The soldiers died while stationed at the Carlisle Barracks, one of the oldest military posts in the nation and today home to the U.S. Army War College. During the Civil War, the barracks served as a supply depot. According to nps.gov, in 1866, the government purchased an area of land in Ashland Cemetery to bury soldiers who died while stationed at the barracks. Ashland was established in 1865, and by 1871 the government transferred remains from the barrack’s post cemetery to this lot.
Most of the remains lay in a mass grave, with a monument standing as a memorial to the soldiers’ sacrifice. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville oversees the Soldiers’ Lot. Twenty-three individual graves also sit in the lot, 19 of those identified and four unknown.
HOW THE DIED: The soldiers died while stationed at the Carlisle Barracks during the Civil War.
GRAVESITE: Ashland Cemetery, Route 74, Carlisle