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|Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 05:53 pm||
|An Iowa soldier’s remarks on the mass burial of Confederate soldiers at Shiloh battlefield
Where the retreat commenced on Monday [7th] afternoon are hundreds and thousands of wounded rebels. They had fallen in heaps and the woods had taken fire and burned all the clothing off them and the naked and blackened corpses are still lying there unburried[.] on the hillside near a deep hollow our men were hauling them down and throwing them into the deep gulley [sic][.] one hundred and eighty had been thrown in when I was there. Men were in on top of the dead straightening out their legs and arms and tramping [sic] them down so as to make the hole contain as many as possible[.] Other man on the hillside had ropes with a noose on one end and they would attach this to a mans [sic] foot or his head and haul him down to the hollow and roll him in[.] Where the ground was level it was so full of water that the excavation filled up as fast as dug and the corpse was just rolled in and the earth just thrown over it and left.
War is hell broke loose [sic] and benumbs all the tender feeling of men and makes them brutes [sic] [.] I do not want to see any more such senses [sic] and yet I would not have missed this day for any consideratsion[.]
Boyd Diary, April 8, 1862
Cyrus F. Boyd's observations relative to the appearance of Shiloh battlefield
Weather cool and chilly. Has rained for five days and the roads are impassable. This is the most Godforsaken country I ever saw. We move camp about every day and in the woods all the time. This is one vast graveyard and shall we ever get out to it[.] The rains have washed the earth from the dead men and horses. Skulls and toes are sticking up from beneath the clay all around and the heavy wagons crush the bodies turning up the bones of the buried, making this one vast Golgotha[.] Sometimes our tents come over a little mound where sleep[s] some unknown soldier who has died [sic] for a principale [sic] but his serevivors [sic] have not even marked his last resting place or given him the burial of a faithful dog[.] What a mockery these lines seem ?
?lest are the brave who sink to rest
With all their Country?s wishes best.?
Boyd Diary, April 21, 1862.