Saturday, July 23, 2011

“I have laid down my life”

The gravestone for George Snyder, Jr. (d. 1862) has a simple carving of a Union soldier standing at attention. The inscription tells us that George died in 1862 during a Civil War battle outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

28 Ys 4 Mo 28 Ds.
A member of Co B 64 Reg OVI
I have laid down my life for my
country’s sake at the battle of
Murfreesboro in the state of
Tennessee December 31, 1862
The battle in which George Snyder lost his life is known as the Battle of Stones River. The Confederate soldiers attacked near dawn on December 31. Lieutenant Tunnel of the Fourteenth Texas Infantry described confusion among the Union trops:

Many of the Yanks were either killed or retreated in their nightclothes … We found a caisson with the horses still attached lodged against a tree and other evidences of their confusion. The Yanks tried to make a stand whenever they could find shelter of any kind. All along our route we captured prisoners, who would take refuge behind houses, fences, logs, cedar bushes and in ravines.

The three-day battle was one of the bloodiest of the war. Both sides suffered a higher percentage of casualties at the Battle of Stones River than any other major Civil War battle.

“Stones River National Battlefield (U.S. National Park Service).” U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America. Web. 22 July 2011. <>.
“Battle of Stones River.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 22 July 2011. <>.

Pleasant Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio


  1. What a touching post! Men from my hometown died in the Battle of Stones River as well. So sad!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Wow; that first-person epitaph is really powerful. How common is that soldier-at-attention iconography? I haven't run across it yet around here.

  4. I was really moved by the epitaph. Very personal.

    So far as the soldier at attention. I do not see that often in this part of Ohio. In fact, I only remember one other--and it was mixed with other symbols (flag, etc) and badly weathered. The solitary soldier is striking in its simplicity. Add that personal epitaph, and this is a special gravestone.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...