I'm back from my excursion to Cumberland Gap. I got to see some great Civil War related sites in Claiborn County, Tennessee, on Saturday –including some unmarked graves, a wartime church used as a hospital, the site of the battle of Tazwel, and plenty of other really interesting sites. Hats off to David Honeycutt for showing me around.
I went hoping to find the graves of a dozen members of the 58th North Carolina who died in September-November 1862 while on duty at the Gap. I was shown a site and told a story that the Confederates were buried here, and after the war were disinterred and taken to Chattanooga for reburial. Alas, I am not yet convinced. The depressions in the ground could have been burial trenches, but they might just as well have been the site of winter quarters/huts. I’ve read on other occasions of soldiers building log huts three or four feet high, and then excavating inside the huts another two or three feet so the occupants could stand up. And, why Chattanooga? Most of the Confederate dead in Chattanooga were later taken to Marietta. Why not Tazwell or Knoxville?
So, I am still on the lookout for the site of the Confederate cemetery in Cumberland Gap. Any ideas?