Thousands of Soldiers Buried Six Feet Under in Brooklyn

Thousands of Soldiers Buried Six Feet Under in Brooklyn

Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn finds thousands more Civil War graves than expected.

Published May 27, 2011

Green-Wood Cemetery, a 478-acre cemetery in Brooklyn, was once thought to hold at most 500 Civil War veterans.

Established in 1838, the cemetery holds the remains of many vets, including Clarence McKenzie, a New York regiment 12-year-old drummer and the first Civil War causality to be buried there.

But since 2002, volunteers and the cemetery staff have initiated an identity project. Through the project, the team has discovered the graves of around 4,600 veterans of the nation’s bloodiest war. Using the cemetery’s burial records, government records, military records and privately owned documents, the graves were pinpointed.  

All graves have not been identified, however, according to the cemetery’s historian, Jeffrey Richman. He estimates about 3,000 to 4,000 unfound graves still remain in the cemetery. That would mean that Green-Wood Cemetery could be the final resting spot for around 8,000 Civil War veterans.

Through re-enactments and candlelight precessions, this Memorial Day weekend the fallen soldiers will be honored in a three-day commemoration at Green-Wood.

We salute them all this holiday.

(Photo: David Berkowitz)

Written by Danielle Wright


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