Confederate Soldiers to Be Reburied
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Six Confederate
soldiers whose bodies were dumped into a hastily dug grave after a Civil War battle
will receive a proper burial later this month, more than a year after their remains
were discovered by a hunter. The reburial is planned for March 20, almost 141
years after the men were cut down while facing Union troops in 1863 during a struggle
for the Mississippi River port of Helena, Ark.
The remains were found in a
forest in the fall of 2002, when a hunter discovered a few bones and called authorities.
Union artillery had once been positioned on the site, which was attacked by Confederate
troops south of Helena. "You feel remorse because they didn't have a proper
burial. They were just laid out in the woods like that," said Terry Bandy,
a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group of descendants of Civil
The remains of all six will be buried in a single wooden
coffin at the Confederate Cemetery in Helena, about 100 miles east of Little Rock.
The coffin, built in a style reminiscent of the era, will feature handles adorned
with replicas of Confederate belt buckles. The soldiers' identities are unknown,
but forensic results due next month are expected to tell their age, whether they
suffered from disease and clues about how they died.