Old City Cemetery
In this area are buried over 2200 Confederate soldiers from fourteen states, most of whom died in Lynchburg's numerous military hospitals during the Civil War. From the first burial on May 19, 1861, until the last on September 19, 1868, undertaker George A. Diuguid handled over 2700 individuals, always keeping precise records, regardless of whether the body was sent home, sent to another local cemetery, or buried here.
Included in the number were 187 Union prisoners who died in the hospitals and were buried alongside the Confederates. In 866 they were removed by government order to a federal cemetery near Norfolk, Virginia.
At least eleven of the burials were in "Negro Row" — slaves who perhaps went to war with their masters, worked or died in the hospitals. Recent evidence indicates that several local citizens were also buried within the Confederate Section in unmarked graves, completely unrelated to the war effort.
There were also 99 victims of smallpox who died in the Pest House, most of whom were buried in the large open area to the right of the main walkway. For some reason, seven of these victims were buried outside the Confederate Section over the western hillside of the cemetery. Still others "were buried", but it is not known where.
Immediately after the Civil War a group of ladies organized to see that the soldier's graves were enclosed and that an annual "Decoration Day" was held in their memory. Know today as the Southern Memorial Association, the organization is responsible for the peaceful, orderly scene within the Confederate Section: the monuments, Speaker's Belvedere, Veteran's Bench, and most importantly, the individual markers indicating where each soldier is believed to be buried. Using the original Diuguid funeral records, this enormous task was begun in 1896 but not completed until 1915, 50 years after the Civil War ended. The efforts of these ladies over their long history insures the living memorial to all those buried here.
Instructions for finding a soldier's grave
Find the soldier's state, name, section number and row from the lists on this kiosk. Refer to the diagram of the Confederate Section to locate the grave; but note that section, grave and row numbers are in regular sequence, thus each lot has its own order.
Additional information may be found at Jones Memorial Library and in the book Behind the Old Brick Wall.
Yankee Square was the area originally designated for Union burials. Most of the Union prisoners were buried alongside the Confederates and Yankee Square was instead used for most of the smallpox victims.
Note the several position variants in:
· Grave numbers (top)
· Row numbers (left side)