A Tennessee man, Jason Blackburn, digging in his backyard garden
over the weekend found 13 tombstones that have been traced to a
historic military cemetery.
“My first reaction was, ‘Oh my goodness, I
hope there’s not dead bodies in my backyard,” Blackburn said. “I
mean that’s the first reaction when you’re digging in your
backyard and you find tombstones.”
Blackburn searched a name on one of the
gravestones -- Pvt. Arthur Woodson -- on the Internet and
determined it was linked to Memphis National Cemetery, a
historic memorial park that goes back to the Civil War and is
now run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Raymond Miller, director for Memphis
National Cemetery and the national cemeteries in Little Rock and
Corinth, Miss., said that VA workers were heading over to
Blackburn’s home on Tuesday to inspect the tombstones. He said
the time the markers went missing has been narrowed down to a
four-month period in 1970. It is believed the markers are from
It is believed they are old headstones
that were replaced with newer ones. Still, it’s unclear
how they ended up in someone’s backyard. Old headstones
are typically destroyed after they are replaced, Miller said.
“This is government property,” Miller said. “We’re going to
retrieve them and look to see what information they have.”