This weekend Joe and I visited the Poplar Grove National Cemetery, hidden away just south of the city of Petersburg. The cemetery contains more than 6,000 Civil War dead, but sadly only about 2,000 names are known. The majority of the stones just say Unknown U.S. Soldier with a few Unknown Confederates in the mix. I suppose it didn’t matter to the boys by that point.
The layout of the cemetery is unique, with concentric circles of stones rather than straight rows. All the stones were laid flat in 1933, and it’s existed quietly with few changes since. Yet it’s beautifully kept, and peaceful.