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sqrblue.gif (852 bytes) From the Confederate Veteran, 1900; p. 68


At the regular meeting of N. B. Forrest Camp No. 4, U.C. V., Chattanooga, Tenn., January 2, a communication was read from William Standifer, of Silverdale, this county, to Comrade H. M. Middleton in reference to a neglected Confederate graveyard near that place.  The commander appointed a committee of five comrades, of which Comrade J. F. Shipp is chairman, to look after the matter and report back to the camp at the next meeting, February 6.

In the discharge of this duty Gen. Shipp and I yesterday went out to Silverdale to investigate.  Silverdale is about one and a half miles east of Tyner's Station, on the Southern railway, known during the war as the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia railroad, and eleven miles east of Chattanooga.  We learned that while Gen. Bragg was mobilizing his army here, in August, 1862, preparatory to the expedition into Kentucky, the troops were encamped at these grounds.  The army camped on lands of Mrs. E. W. Carper, widow of W. F. Carper, and a hospital was established for the sick.   It was maintained for several months.  Between seventy-five and one hundred of these sick soldiers died and were buried on a slightly elevated piece of land near the hospital tents.  They were decently buried in the government coffins, the graves being made in parallel rows in nice order.  The land being in woods and enclosed, the graves were fairly well preserved until a few years ago.  The wooden boards, however, are entirely destroyed, and there is no mark by which to identify any grave, except that one has a head and foot stone, and on the head stone the initials, "H. E." are carved, and underneath, the figure "8".

Mr. Standifer states that he did not know of any Confederate organization to which to report the matter sooner.  He is a son-in-law of Mrs. Carper, and the land in which the dead are buried belongs to him.  He is sixty-four years old, and for fifteen years has been almost blind.  While the troops were there he was frequently at the camps and hospitals and remembers a number of incidents that occurred.  One was a disagreement between Lieut. Cunningham, of Company B, Cobb's Louisiana Battery, and another lieutenant, name not remembered, about a watch.  A duel resulted, and at the first fire Lieut. Cunningham was shot dead.   He was buried in a citizens' graveyard nearby.  Another incident remembered is a conflict of authority that occurred between Col. Day, of the Fifth Georgia, and Dr. Reese, surgeon in charge of the hospital.  Many citizens of different Southern States visited them to look after sick relatives.

Perhaps the description of the camps and hospitals here given and the incidents mentioned may meet the eye of comrades yet living, who can give us information as to what troups were there and the names of some of those who died and are buried in this neglected graveyard.  Any one who can give any information on these points will please write as soon as practicable to Quartermaster General U.C.V. J. F. Shipp, Chattanooga, Tenn.   We desire to get the names and commands of these dead comrades, if possible, to purchase the ground and care for them hereafter as a sacred resting place for our Confederate dead.  To this end we solicit information at the earliest moment possible.

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Carol's note:  Captain Joseph F. Shipp was indeed instrumental in purchasing the land where the cemetery was located from William Standifer in 1890. Arrangements were made to care for cemetery at that time and a memorial gate and stone wall maked the cemetery.  The gate bears this inscription:

155 Confederate Soldiers, names unknown, were buried here
from the near-by hospitals of General Bragg's Army, 1862

Tim Stowell, the coordinator of the Hamilton County, TN GenWeb Website, informs me that Silverdale was split into two parts when the freeway was built through it in the late 1960s.  The Confederate cemetery "is so secluded you almost have to fall into it to even know it's there.  It has a shabby brick/mortar arch over a narrow dirt, potholed driveway leading to one miles back to the cemetery."  Mr. Stowell says that with widening of the freeway scheduled in the next three years or so, this peaceful setting will be virtually destroyed and he supposes the cemetery will be moved.

To learn more about the Silverdale Confederate Cemetery, Right.jpg (1401 bytes)Click here!

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