As I’ve mentioned before, several years ago my family purchased an old farmhouse and 40 acres of land in central Virginia. On that piece of land, which is mostly woods, there is a pond with a little stream running to it, and on the crested bank of the pond, there are nearly unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers. The previous owners and family explained that a historical survey was done years ago and confirmed that they are the graves of likely confederate soldiers. The graves are only a few miles away from where one of the last major and bloody battles of the Civil War was waged at Sailor Creek.
The graves are hard to see unless you know what you are looking for. Head and foot stones –really rocks– mark slight depressions in the ground that are scattered across the hill near the pond. I’ve never counted but I would bet there are about 15-20 marked, and who knows how many unmarked.
When I go to visit the farm, I always take some time to sit among the graves and take in my surroundings and be quiet. It was very near the graves where I sat and wrote the poem that I read at the gallery opening.
This past visit, I took the macro lens that clips onto my iPhone and took some portraits of the graves, and the things growing on and around them. I have always felt a sense of peace near the graves, I have never felt fear or negativity. I wonder about the soldiers’ lives, families, dreams, hopes, and last moments.
Here are the portraits of their graves: