Burial Impressions

My husband and I went to Redstone arsenal Sunday. It is the Army installation on which he works. He had told me there were a lot of cemeteries there, so, we got our map and started to search. Sometimes, he and a guy he works with, will drive around base, and they had spotted some.

We were able to see seven of them. The others were inaccessible to due to restrictions. I guess this is where they blow up stuff. On the south side, there are numerous bunkers, still in use. The base is covered in wild life. I had my camera at the ready. The best shot I got of any critter was this butterfly, feeding on appropriately, Butterfly Weed.

I saw a wild turkey, but, he escaped into the woods before we got in camera range. I think I scared my husband several times, when I would say ” look! ” . Mostly it was because I saw a bird I had never seen, only in books. It seemed very peaceful everywhere on base. It was quiet, no planes, helicopters or explosions. Given, it was a Sunday.

One thing that was quite disconcerting, was when we got to Fennil cemetery. I noticed it was quite large, but, only had three headstones, and they were very spread out across the area. Upon walking through Fennil, it was apparent, there were many more people buried here. There were depressions, covered in oak leaves. Long ago, someone was buried in those graves. They were lost and forgotten somewhere along the way. I did some research of the three people whose headstones are at Fennil cemetery. This appeared to be a black cemetery.

Corporal Joseph Beasley, was in the 12th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry.

Corp. Joseph Beasley

Silla Moore- could not find any info, although, there is another cemetery, Moore, could be related.

Silla Moore

Mary Lightford- no info found

Mary Lightford

According to records, there are forty-six historic cemeteries located on Redstone Arsenal.After the United States Congress passed the National Cemetery Act in 1973, discussion of establishing a National Cemetery at Redstone Arsenal was revived since the Mobile National Cemetery, the only other National Cemetery in Alabama at the time, was out of space, partially due to the dramatic casualty load from the Vietnam War. After consulting with the Army Memorial Affairs Agency, however, it was decided that there was no need to expand the current national cemetery program. There was no discussion at this time of relocating any of the cemeteries on the installation.


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