One of the first places I visited on my trip was Tunnel Hill. I was at Tunnel Hill maybe eight years ago, before the museum and tunnel were opened. It was in September, and I was there for the reenactment. This time I was on the hunt for information.
One of the 58th NCT diarists reported being at Tunnel Hill from September 24 to October 9, 1863. I was hoping to run into someone whocould help me find the burial site of the Dalton executions. I had n oluck with that quest, but I did enjoy the museum and a walk in the historic tunnel. I did find the names of three North Carolina soldiers who died at Tunnel Hill during the war.
The first name on the list was Jesse C. Black. There were soldiers by this name in both the 58th NCT and the 60th NCT. The Jesse Black in the58th NCT died in Charlotte at the end of the war. I looked up the other Jesse Black, and according to the troop books, he was reported as sick in the hospital in March-April 1863, then died at Tunnel Hill on May 7,1863.
Next one the list was Martin V. Lankford. According to the troop books, Lankford served in Company K, 16th North Carolina Troops. He was from Polk County, and enlisted on April 20, 1861, at the age of 26. Lankford was discharged on October 12, 1862, by reason of "secondary syphilis." Just how he got to a hospital in Tunnel Hill, Georgia, is a mystery.
Last on the list was William F. Patton. There were several soldiers by this name who served in different North Carolina regiments. There were two, a William L. and a William S. in Company E, 62nd NCT. I'llneed to look these up at a later date.
All three of these, along with many others, were disinterred from the Citizens or Foster Cemetery in July 1869 and taken to Ringgold, then onto the Confederate Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia.
If you ever have a chance, stop by the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center. It is areally neat place.