Randon Billings Noble (Now, that is a Southern name!) commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Chancellorsville and Stonewall Jackson’s accidental wounding and death by searching for the internment site of General Jackson’s amputated arm.
I was walking through a cornfield in search of a cemetery in the middle of Virginia. A fox trotted across the path in front of me and disappeared in the forest of stalks with barely a rustle. I was searching for Stonewall Jacksonâ€™s lost arm. …
In Chancellorsville, 150 years later, the story of this arm is surprisingly well documented. A large quartz boulder marks the place where Jackson fell and signs along Route 3 mark the â€œWounding of Jacksonâ€ and â€œJacksonâ€™s Amputation.â€ But the cemetery in which the arm was buried is not marked. I knew that an aide had taken the arm to his own family graveyard, and I learned from one of the markers that the cemetery was called Ellwood, but I didnâ€™t know where it wasâ€”only that it was nearby.
I drove through Chancellorsville National Military Park with my eyes open for anything that looked like it might lead to a cemetery. Late in the day, in a gray misty rain, having already given up, I pulled into a driveway to turn around and stopped short at a rusty iron gate with soldered block letters, E L L W O O D.
I hesitated. It was clearly a locked gate, but a faint trail led around it and continued through dense woods. While I didnâ€™t want to trespass, I didnâ€™t want to retreat either. The mystery of the arm was too great; I left the car in the driveway.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Fred Lapides.