For 152 years, fallen Union and Confederate soldiers from the Civil War have lain at rest in an unmarked grave near Calwood.
These soldiers will, for the first time, have a large, granite monument bearing their names dedicated to them at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 27.
The memorial, bearing the names of 24 men killed in combat at the Battle of Moore's Mill, will be erected at a free, public event that day on the property of Gus Guthrie, owner and grave site donor, located on State Road Z (about 1 mile southwest of the intersection of State Roads Z and JJ in Calwood). The Fulton-based Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans raised $5,000 in support of the monument and will be hosting the upcoming event. That money also helped fund high-tech sonar scanning of the site for the remains of the soldiers.
"Marking the occasion will be descendants of soldiers of the War Between the States and uniformed re-enactors and civilians in period clothing from Missouri and neighboring states," Noel Crowson, Elija Gates Camp SCV and Chaplain, said in a press release.
The ceremony will featuring color and honor guards, a fired salute and bagpipe music. Among the invited guests are State Rep. Jeannie Riddle, Callaway County Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann and members of various veteran groups. There will also be artillery and cannon displays.
The grave site is home to both Union and Confederate soldiers.
"This dedication honors all men killed in the battle," said Crowson. "I think we of the Gates Camp agree that no matter which side you fought on, your sacrifice deserves to be recognized, and certainly your final resting place marked."
During the Battle of Moore's Mill, the wounded Union soldiers were transported to Fulton by wagon, but for health reasons, it was ordered that all soldiers that were found dead on the battlefield - Union and Confederate alike - were to be buried in a mass grave. When a sonar scan of the site in April 2013 revealed high certainty of the location of neglected bodies, the idea for commemoration arose.
"Our Gates Camp compatriots can take justifiable pride in the successful completion of this project," said Crowson. "Because of their dedicated efforts, we are now able to honor these brave but long-neglected men. They are no longer forgotten and alone."
For information about this event, contact Crowson at (573) 386-5786.