- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 22, 2006

ELKTON, Va. (AP) — Two Confederate brothers killed during the Civil War were buried in the same cemetery under simple markings, leaving their legacy untold.

Now, distant relatives of the Powell brothers and a Civil War heritage group are changing that. They are getting headstones from the Department of Veterans Affairs to properly recognize the brothers’ deaths.

“These guys gave their lives,” said Elkton historian Casey Billhimer, who called the effort “the least we can do.”

In October 1862, a young soldier named Elias Powell was killed by federal scouts and buried in a family cemetery that is now part of the Shenandoah National Park.

“William” Albert Powell, also a Confederate, was killed two years later at the Battle of Spotsylvania and buried at the Hensley, Shifflett, Powell Cemetery on the side of a mountain, Mr. Billhimer said.

The graves were marked with rocks that were likely found near the cemetery and turned into tombstones. Each stone was engraved with the soldier’s initials and his date of death.

With no other information on the grave markers, not even the soldiers’ family members knew for sure where they were buried.

The Powells’ relatives and the Col. D.H. Lee Martz Camp 10 Sons of Confederate Veterans have led the effort to get proper tombstones.

Jim Miller of Jem Stones Art Studio will engrave on the stones each man’s name, date of birth and death and a short history of his life. The stones are schedule to be dedicated this weekend by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Several members of the Powell family are to attend.

The graves were rediscovered when descendant Cleve Powell learned through research that his great-great uncles were buried in the cemetery.

“The date on the stone was identical with the piece of paper my uncle had given me” with information about the deaths, Mr. Powell said. “It was very satisfying to know that we had figured something out.”

After he learned where his uncles were buried, Mr. Powell contacted Mr. Billhimer to notify him of the find.

From there, Mr. Powell said, the Sons of Confederate Veterans began the process of getting proper grave markers.

“We brought it to their attention and they got the ball rolling from there,” he said. “Maybe 100 years from now, those stones will be there to tie the family’s history together.”

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