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Thirteen Unknown Confederates

Were they some of Shiloh’s wounded who retreated here in 1862 to die beside the Natchez Trace? Did they serve under the daring General Nathan Forest who passed this way in 1864? Or were they guarding the Tupelo headquarters of J.B. Hood’s Army of Tennessee near the end of the Civil War? We may never know.

Tradition holds that the unknown graves in front of you belong to Confederate soldiers who marched and camped along this stretch of the Old Trace. Perhaps they died of wounds, or the lingering hunger, poverty, and sickness in the army camps. Their simple grave markers face backwards—toward the Trace—so travelers might read and remember.

The original grave markers may have borne names, but they disappeared a long time ago. In 1940 Senator Theodore Bilbo arranged for marble headstones, but they were stolen. The National Park Service erected the headstones now in place.

Located at N 34.36633 W 88.67428 – on the Natchez Trace outside Saltillo, Mississippi.