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I Love the Ark-La-Tex: Grave of the Unknown Confederate Soldier

KMSS-TV
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 4:50pm

About 620,000 soldiers were killed in the Civil War. Many of those men never got a proper burial.

For others, they may be been buried without being identified. That's what happened in Marthaville, during 1864, the time of the Battle of Crumps Corner.

A Confederate soldier was at the Barnhill farmhouse, asking for water. The family directed him to a spring on the property. Unbeknownst to him, he was being followed by 3 Union scouts who shot him while he was getting water.

There was nothing the family could do for him medically. However, they gave that unknown soldier a proper burial, caring for the grave for the next hundred years.

For years, the family kept up with the grave, and the community came out to support them. There were several different small memorial services throughout the years. In 1962, that changed. Instead of lots of small memorials, there were commemorative concerts that helped maintain the grave and put up the memorial that is currently at Rebel State Historic Site.

Even though the memorial is a Confederate grave, it isn't just Southerners visiting. People from all over the world visit the grave to see first hand the benevolent nature the South is known for. The family could have just ignored the soldier, but the Good Samaritan chose to honor the fallen soldier, in turn bringing the community closer.

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