Previously I mentioned that the remains of two unfortunate soldiers killed at Second Manassas had been found in a surgeon’s pit on the battlefield. I am happy to report that they have been decently interred at Arlington National Cemetery after all these years.
The two Union soldiers buried Thursday at Arlington with full military honors were recently discovered at Manassas National Battlefield in what appeared to be a surgeon’s pit filled with severed limbs from 11 other soldiers. When the National Park Service announced the discovery in June, officials said it was the first time that a surgeon’s pit at a Civil War battlefield had been excavated and studied.
The decision was made at the time to bury the two complete sets of remains at Arlington. While the soldiers could not be completely identified, experts determined from the location of the pit and from items found inside that the two soldiers were Union Army members who died at the Second Battle of Bull Run in 1862.
Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, told a crowd of several hundred gathered for Thursday’s ceremony that it was fitting to dedicate a new section of the cemetery with burial of Civil War soldiers.
The cemetery was born during the Civil War when the Union Army needed a place to bury the increasing numbers of killed soldiers. It appropriated the estate owned by the family of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River in occupied Virginia for burying Union soldiers.
“Now, 154 years later, all of us share in a similar experience,” she said.
May they rest in peace with honor.