A Sad Duty to Perform

A Sad Duty to Perform (HMXIQ)

Location: Fredericksburg, VA 22405
Country: United States of America

N 38° 19.352', W 77° 28.031'

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Inscription
His second day of freedom,Former SlaveJohn Washington wrote about seeing the "side-by-side" burial of seven Union soldiers April 19th, 1862, in Falmouth's Union Church Cemetery.

"The soldiers had a sad duty to perform?The funeral was one of the most solemn and impressive I had ever witnessed in my life before. Their company (cavalry) was dismounted and drawn up in lines, around the seven new graves which had been dug side-by-side. The old Family Burying Ground wherein these new made graves had been dug contained the bones [of] some of the oldest and most wealth of the Early Settlers of Falmouth.

On some of the tombstones could be dimly traced the birthplaces of some in England, Scotland, and Wales as well as Ireland. And amidst grand old tombs and vaults, surrounded by noble cedars through which the April wind seemed to moan low dirges, there they was now about to deposit the remains of (what the rebels was pleased to term) the low born ?Yankee'.

Side-by-side they rested those seven coffins on the edge of these seven new made graves. While the chaplain's fervent prayer was wafted to the skies and after a hymn (Windham) had been sung those seven coffins was lowered to their final resting place.

And amidst the sound of the earth falling into those new made graves, the ?Band' of Harris Light Cavalry broke forth in dear old ?Pleyal's Hymn' and when those graves were finished there was scarecely a dry eye present. And with heavy hearts their company left that little burying ground some swearing to avenge their deaths."

From "Memorys of the Past" by John WashingtonPhoto courtesy National Park Service, taken after the Civil War

This marker funded by the 14th N.Y.S.M., Company E. Re-enactors,www.14thbrooklyn.info, also visit www.FalmouthUnionChurch.org

Night Attack on Falmouth Heights
The "sad duty" was the result of a skirmish which took place in the early morning hours of April 18, 1862, as Union forces first advance on Falmouth.
Source: Battles for the Union

The Dead were escorted by an honor guard composed of the 1st PA Cavalry and the 2nd NY Cavalry, also known as the Harris Light

Patrick Devlin
Company M, 1st Cavalry,
killed April 18, 1862

Thomas Norton
Company M, 1st Pa. Cavalry,
died of wounds on April 18, 1862

Lieutenant James Nelson Decker
Co. D., 2nd N.Y. Cavalry
Killed at 7:00 PM on April 17, 1862

John Heslin
Company L. 2nd N.Y. Cavalry
killed at 11:30 PM on April 17, 1862
Josiah Kiff
Company H, 2nd N.Y. Cavalry,
Died of wounds on April 18, 1862

John Murphy
Company G. 2nd N.Y. Cavalry
died of wounds on April 18, 1862

George Weller
Company H, 2nd N.Y. Cavalry
killed April 18, 1862
Details
HM NumberHMXIQ
Tags
Year Placed2011
Placed By14th N.Y.S.M., Company E. Re-enactors
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 10:51am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 284324 N 4244482
Decimal Degrees38.32253333, -77.46718333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 19.352', W 77° 28.031'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 19' 21.12" N, 77° 28' 1.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 119 Carter St, Fredericksburg VA 22405, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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