Finishing up my last appointment of the day, I found myself only a couple of blocks from the very old Warrenton VA Cemetery. Knowing that Colonel John S. Mosby is buried there, I paid a visit. It was a gray day. So visiting the grave of "The Gray Ghost" seemed appropriate!
Having no idea where to go, I headed for the largest marker in the park. It was, as I suspected, a monument dedicated to the Confederate States of America (CSA) war dead, and ground zero for many of their graves. As I drove toward the 25' tall monument, I noticed a grave stone with many Confederate flags in front. It was the only one so festooned. Thinking that must be Colonel Mosby's, I approached it and was right.
This is a grave that appears to be visited a lot. There were footprints in the snow leading to and from the grave.
And a couple of pennies on the top!
Unknown when that tradition began, it is said that there is a monument in the cemetery to honor CSA soldiers and when enough money is collected from the top of Mosby's grave stone another name is engraved onto it.
This is what the stone commonly looks like on a day with more visitors, covered with coins. It is an interesting tradition. And, like many things surrounding the Gray Ghost, totally particular to him.
So I left a penny!
What you cannot see in the photograph of the grave stone above is the small marker at its base.
Soldiers who fought in the war have an additional marker. A little tilted, and perhaps straightened by the grounds keepers every spring, is Mosby's CSA marker.
These markers can be seen peppered about the cemetery. I counted four generations of the Mosby family buried nearby.
His was the only grave stone in his family group with this marker.
Looking around, the oldest grave stone I could see was somebody buried in 1821. I am sure there are older stones in the cemetery. One laid prone at the base of a very large tree. The writing was very weathered and illegible. But it was quite old!
It was an interesting visit to a very interesting cemetery probably typical of the south. This is the first Civil War cemetery in which I have seen the small CSA marker. I have visited many Civil War battlefield cemeteries, but have never seen this marker before.
There are other markers however, apparently developed and placed by the groups so interested. They include SAR (Sons of the American Revolution), DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), GAR (Grand Army of the Republic), SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans), UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy), SSAWV (Sons of Spanish American War Veterans), USWV (United Spanish War Veterans) and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). These are probably placed at the grave stone by the families of the person buried.
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