Oakwood is a city owned cemetery and the resting place of over 15,000 Confederate soldiers from all Southern States. Most of the men buried here were killed during the Seven Days battles or died at Chimborazo, the South’s largest hospital during the war, which was only about a mile away and is now the site of the Richmond National Battlefield Park Headquarters. Most of the names and locations are unknown, and what information is available was compiled by Park Rangers.
The man of F Company listed on the following page is interred at Oakwood, and NOW has a marker specifically for him.
EDWARD BATES, MARCH 10, 1864, OAKWOOD CEMETERY - DIVISION D, ROW 55, GRAVE 1
Bates is listed in the 21ST VIRGINIA INFANTRY REGIMENTAL HISTORY. He enlisted as a Private in Pittsylvania Co. on 2/4/1863. Bates was admitted to Chimborazo hospital with a fever on 9/17/1863. He returned to duty on 11/28/1863 and died of diarrhea on 3/10/1864.
Oakwood Cemetery - Richmond, Virginia
by Bill Ward
17,000 gray clad sons,
in time of war picked up their guns.
While in their hearts held Dixie's song,
with blood stained banners struggled on.
And when their last full measure gave
at Oakwood found a warrior's grave.
So very few the stones that tell,
the names of men who fought and fell.
Yet for each three there stands one block,
which has three numbers carved in rock,
to mark the place where valor rests,
with Southern boys who gave their best.
One column stands with names of States,
who offered sons to unknown fates.
Two cannons raise eternal guard,
for heroes that were battle scarred.
Though modest in its simple plan,
speaks volumes for each fallen man.
From battles far or battles near,
from sickness or diseases here,
so many graves were quickly filled,
with boys from Chimborazo’s hill.
Though none the names that we know well,
they lived more hardships than could tell.
Now as I gaze upon the rows,
of marble blocks my knowledge grows.
That each man’s sacrifice was clear,
he fought for all that he held dear.
For family, honor and State’s rights,
the martyred thousands stormed the heights.
In Death’s long, ageless sleep they rest,
part of that generation’s best.
And though their hopes and dreams are gone,
in glory will their deeds live on.
Who once stood mighty, loyal and brave,
at Oakwood found a warrior’s grave.
© Bill Ward 1998
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