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Home North Carolina Vance County City of Kittrell Historical Markers Confederate Cemetery

Confederate Cemetery

US 1, Kittrell, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 36° 12' 12.726", -78° 26' 56.5584"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Graves of 52 soldiers individually marked, who died in the Kittrell Springs Hotel hospital 1864-65, are 1/2 mi. NE."
Built in 1858, Kittrell Springs Hotel could accommodate 500 guests. Located at a rail junction, the resort received an impressive amount of visitors until 1861. As sectional tensions tore the country apart, the hotel closed. In the spring of 1864, however, Confederate officials converted the building into a hospital for troops injured in the campaigns around Richmond and Petersburg.

General Hospital Number One, as the facility became known, could house 300 injured or sick soldiers. Between June 1864 and April 1865, over 2,100 men were cared for at the post. Despite the nearby battles in Virginia and eastern North Carolina, many more men suffered from disease than combat injuries. Moreover, soldiers admitted with gunshot wounds accounted for only 7% compared to 28% from typhoid, 20% from pneumonia, and 7% from diarrhea. At least 31% of the typhoid victims and 36% of the pneumonia victims died.

All together, 68 men are known to have died at the hospital; however, the causes of death are only known for 54 of them. Among the dead were 16 members of the North Carolina Junior Reserves, regiments formed from young men between the ages of 17-18 years old. Although the majority of the dead were North Carolinians, several Virginians, South Carolinians, and Georgians are among the 52 men buried in the cemetery.

The cemetery was established during the war for those men whose bodies could not be returned home. The Reverend Matthias Murray Marshall oversaw the burials and often recorded the last moments of each man’s life. Marshall’s notes provide a glimpse into the lives of the men buried at Kittrell. He recorded that William Brown, 5th Virginia Cavalry, upon his deathbed stated, “I have not a relation in the world.” For J. G. Edwards, 5th North Carolina Cavalry, Marshall noted, “Left a wife and a child. Baptized in infancy, though I think a good man and prepared to die – said ‘Death has no sorrows for me.’”

At the war’s conclusion, the hotel once again became a hotel holding such distinguished visitors as President Andrew Johnson. The building burned in 1885. For years the cemetery lay neglected, but in 1954 the Kittrell Community Club included its restoration as part of a “Finer Carolina” project. Fifty large cedar trees surrounded the cemetery until 1936 when locals cut down several trees for firewood during an unusually severe winter. The headstones of the 52 interred Confederates are military regulation, with two rows facing west, and two facing east. At the center is a white marble urn for flowers.

Bill Sharpe, New Geography of North Carolina, IV (1954)
Mark J. Crawford, “Rebel Resort of the Dead,” in Confederate Courage on Other Fields (2006)
Frank Freemon, Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care During the American Revolution (1998)
Samuel T. Peace, “Zeb’s Black Baby”: Vance County, North Carolina: A Short History (1955)

Related Themes: C.S.A., Confederate States of America, Confederacy, North Carolina Cemetery Markers, Cemeteries, NC Graveyards,
Burial Grounds and Graves

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Confederate Cemetery
Confederate Cemetery Historical Marker Location Map, Kittrell, North Carolina