Oakwood Cemetery

Oakwood Cemetery (HM15ZN)

Location: Richmond, VA 23223
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 32.045', W 77° 23.716'

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Confederate Section

Almost every Confederate soldier who died in a Richmond hospital during the war was buried in one of three local cemeteries: Hollywood, Oakwood, or Shockoe Hill. Although Hollywood Cemetery is the best known because of the many prominent men buried there, Oakwood's Confederate section covers an equivalent area and contains the graves of more than 17,000 of the South's fighting men.

Burials occurred here between August 1861 and April 1865. Most of the soldiers died in one of Richmond's many hospitals. Those in the eastern end of the city, Chimborazo and Howard's Grove, were two of the three busiest hospitals in Richmond. Chimborazo treated more patients than any other hospital in the world. More than 75 men a day were buried here in 1862 for several weeks after the Seven Day's Battles.

No nationally famous men are interred here: no generals, only a handful of field officers, and a few hundred commissioned officers. More than 95 percent of those buried here were privates, making this a vast memorial to the "common soldier" of the Army of Northern Virginia. In 1862, a Richmond newspaper predicted that Oakwood "will become the Mecca of all visitors ?there is hardly any resident of the Confederate states who will not be able to recognize ? one whom they have known in happier, if not better, days."

When Richmond's first municipal cemetery, Shockoe Hill, began to fill up in the 1850s, the city acquired 66 acres here in 1854. The first burials occurred in 1858. Today, Oakwood Cemetery encompasses 176 acres.

On April 14, 1866, local women formed the "Ladles Memorial Association for the Confederate Dead in Oakwood Cemetery." They held Richmond's first Confederate memorial day commemoration here on May 10, 1866. Gen. Robert E. Lee declined their invitation to attend, but wrote that "the graves of the Confederate dead will always be green in my memory, and their deeds be hallowed in my recollection." For decades, the association maintained the Confederate section, placed painted wooden headboards at each grave, erected a commemorative obelisk, and conducted well-attended annual exercises on Confederate Memorial Day. The Sons of Confederate Veterans has managed the Confederate section since 2009.
HM NumberHM15ZN
Series This marker is part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans series, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series.
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 1:24pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 288362 N 4156818
Decimal Degrees37.53408333, -77.39526667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 32.045', W 77° 23.716'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 32' 2.70" N, 77° 23' 42.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3522 E Richmond Rd, Richmond VA 23223, US
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