Profiles of Civil War Veterans

The profiles of veterans that appear in the Civil War Honor Roll section are the contributions of several researchers working under a Girl Scout Gold Award Project conceived, designed and led by Ambassador Scout Cameron Stewart.

Cameron’s project statement
There are thousands of Civil War Veterans buried in Fairfax County, who are unrecognized and anonymous. The significance of their service to the country and their place in our history has been devalued by time and by inadequate record keeping. The mission of the Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association, Inc. (FCCPA) is to “identify, document, preserve, protect, maintain and advocate for cemeteries in our county that are: threatened by development, vandalism or neglect”. My project will benefit the FCCPA in two ways:

  1. The production of relevant historical material for publication in their website will increase their exposure to genealogy and Civil War researchers in Virginia and all over the country. I hope that this will grow the base of citizens and volunteers interested in supporting the FCCPA preservation mission.
  2. My research project is timed to coincide with the Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial; our profiles on Civil War Veterans will help the FCCPA contribute to Fairfax County’s participation in the commemoration.

Beyond the benefit to the FCCPA, I believe that my project will provide a long-term benefit to future descendants and genealogists. I think it is a good and important thing to remember the Veterans and to set an example of respecting their grave sites, honoring their lives and recognizing their service.

These Honored Dead
by Cameron Stewart

Soldiers resting peacefully now,
their final home in a grass choked grove.
Scores of men who fought for a cause,
legacy marked by moss covered stones.

One nation split in two by war.
In each a fierce sense of right
and glorious, arrogant confidence.
Their only course in the end was to fight.

They walked our dusty hills in columns,
hindered by hunger, pack and dread.
Charged ahead with the cannons’ thunder,
they watched their friends and brothers fall dead.

In a sleepy bottom on a river bank,
where once they camped and mended gear
and wrote their letters with charcoal stubs,
seeking contact with family and those most dear.

Now willows sweep in lazy curls
and horses graze the fertile field;
and no one yet recalls the sound
of bugles calling morning drills.

And few who travel our roads today
would know that just beyond the hill,
forgotten civil war soldiers lay
in graves unmarked, untended still.

Timeless voices seem to drift
through the quiet whisper of rustling leaves,
as the shadows of these honored dead
Call us to remember, please.