Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chalmette National Cemetery

Prairie Thistle Life's blog about restoration efforts at Chalmette National Cemetery was a wonderful find. She has posted a few photographs, too. You can read more about restoration efforts from the Times Picayune by Chris Kirkham and a bit more from way back in 2004, by Julie Major. You can see what appears to be a pre Katrina photo of the wall that Chris Kirkham's article referenced in Julie Major's article from 2004.

The National Park Service surveyed this cemetery and created a pdf file of all of those interred. The pdf file is nearly 300 pages long. There are a few unknowns buried at Chalmette. It can be downloaded at the Louisiana Cemetery Preservation wiki in the files. The file gives the Section, Grave, Name, Death date, War fought, and a comment area.

The cemetery was closed after Katrina in August 2005 until May 2006 when 2,000 volunteers helped place flags at the cemetery. The cemetery opened for two days only, "that Sunday and Memorial Day", according to archived newspaper reports.

One of the most famous interments is Lyons Wakeman see p. 267 of 290 Section 52 Grave No. 4066. A photo of this tombstone can be seen on Prairie T's blog and in the article by Julie Major.

Ancestry had this to say about Wakeman.

"...The 153rd was transferred to the field in early 1864 and Wakeman engaged in her first battle on 9 April 1864 at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. She wrote her last letter home five days later from Grand Ecore Landing on the Red River..." Ancestry

There is also a limited preview on Google of this book title. An Uncommon Soldier: The Civil War Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, Alias Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, Lauren Cook Burgess, Lauren M. Cook - Philosophy - 1995 - 128 pages.