Confederate Burials

I’ve recently received several questions asking where Confederates from the battle of Milliken’s Bend were buried. Unfortunately, I don’t have a firm answer.

Before the Confederates left Milliken’s Bend, they stayed nearby for a couple of hours before withdrawing to Richmond, Louisiana — which is now Tallulah. It seems likely to me that any of the men that died on the field were possibly buried nearby, while the troops were resting, waiting for reinforcements, and deciding what to do. On the other hand, they may not have had time to do that, as it was unclear if they were going to continue the attack or if the Yankees were going to attack them, so they may not have let their guard down long enough to perform any burials.

Also, it’s quite likely that a number of the killed in action died within Yankee lines, and unless the Rebels made special efforts to remove the bodies, the Yankees probably would have been the ones to perform the burials.In fact, two Confederates were reinterred, accidentally, in the National Cemetery at Vicksburg. Perhaps others were, as well, listed now as “unknown.”

I don’t know, but it does not seem to me very likely that Confederates from Milliken’s Bend would have been reinterred at the Confederate Cemetery in Vicksburg. While the US dead were removed from Milliken’s Bend and other sites and reinterred in the National Cemetery at Vicksburg, that process was managed by the Federal government. There was no such systematic reburial of the Confederate dead after the war.

For soldiers who were wounded in action, removed from the battlefield, and then died of their wounds, their burial location could be just about anywhere in the region. More seriously wounded men may have died at field hospitals, located in homes not far from the battlefield or in Richmond (now Tallulah). Others may have died near Delhi, where the railhead was located. Most of the wounded were sent westward to the hospital at Monroe, Louisiana, about 70 miles from Milliken’s Bend.

The resources below from Find-a-Grave and other websites might be helpful.


Madison Parish cemeteries
(Milliken’s Bend was located in Madison Parish)

Including:

Millikens Bend Cemetery lists a number of burials from the time of the battle, and many are identified as men of the 17th Texas Infantry. However, the Find-A-Grave entry for this cemetery does not provide a geographic location, and therefore I wonder if perhaps this listing is simply a “virtual cemetery” that does not exist in the actual landscape. It may be that someone created this cemetery on Find-a-grave in order to memorialize the Confederate dead from this battle.

Silver Cross Cemetery in Tallulah. Although most listings appear to be from the modern era, some burials pre-date the Civil War. Also a brief history available by Dick Sevier.


East Carroll Parish cemeteries
(Milliken’s Bend was located on the southern border of this parish)

Including:

Millikin Cemetery – most burials appear to be modern era, though one Milliken’s Bend casualty has an entry. Isham Boren of the 16th Texas Cavalry is listed, though the entry itself confesses that his actual burial site is unknown.


Ouachita Parish cemeteries
(Monroe, about 70 miles west of Milliken’s Bend, was a supply and organization base, and had a formal Confederate hospital. Many of the wounded were sent here.)

Including:

Old Monroe Confederate Hospital  (buried in mass grave)
Most of the Confederate wounded were removed from the Milliken’s Bend area and treated at the Monroe Hospital. In fact, there were so many casualties, the town was overwhelmed, and wounded soldiers were being treated at hotels, schools, churches and mercantile establishments. More information about burials from the Monroe Confederate Hospital is available here.

Ouachita Parish GenWeb site also has cemetery transcriptions, which can be easily skimmed for appropriate dates of death.

— (A portion of this post is repeated from a previous comment I made on “Casualties at Milliken’s Bend.“)


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