A very nice GAR burial area around the cenotaph Custer Post GAR Cenotaph & Burial Area
Oak Hill Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Kent County
The Oak Hill cemetery flows across a broad expanse, bisected by a busy street that probably wasn't nearly as full with traffic when the burial ground was established. The cenotaph only features the GAR and WRC ribbons and date of 1906. Of particular note is a small monument nearby that remembers those unknowns that did not return from their Southern adventure.
In our age of DNA identification and grave recovery teams, it is difficult to imagine that our soldiers would simply be given over as 'buried on unknown fields'. Battlefields of the 1860's left literally thousands of men from both sides strewn in bloody masses. Disease prevention demanded 'The Boys' be placed into common graves without much time for proper identification. It was this battlefield confusion that led to 'dog tags' in subsequent wars.
Oak Hill is located at 647 Hall Street SE.
A Ceaser Among Them - The men of Company F 20th Massachusetts Infantry probably thought themselves fortunate to have "Julius Ceaser" among them...