Woodlawn National Cemetery
Elmira, NY

Photos/text courtesy of Scott Payne, NY
For any use of these photos contact

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John W. Jones (1817-1900), Caretaker and Sexton of Woodlawn National Cemetery
More Elmira Prison related courtesy of Scott Payne

1. Woodlawn National Cemetery - Burial & Memorials (VA)
2. Woodlawn National Cemetery - Wikipedia

3. Woodlawn National Cemetery - Chemung County, New York
4. Elmira Prison Camp OnLine Library - Gallery
5. Find A Grave: Woodlawn National Cemetery
6. Nationwide Gravesite Locator

Elmira Prison

Chemung Valley History Museum

Woodlawn National Cemetery
Elmira, New York

Woodlawn National Cemetery is a constant reminder to Chemung County that nearly 3,000 Southern soldiers sleep there. There are 36 trenches extending across the plot, north to south, all occupied by Confederate dead. All thirteen Confederate states have soldiers buried here. North Carolina has the most soldiers, with 1,208. Missouri has the least with 1.

John Jones, a runaway slave had charge of the burial of every Confederate soldier. He transcribed every record which appeared on the coffin lids into a book he kept for that purpose. The largest number of burials in a day was 48. Mr. Jones saw that the burials were properly and reverently conducted. He received from the government a fee of $2.50 for each body buried. In 1911, the bodies of the Shohola Train Wreck victims were disinterred from their graves in Shohola and buried here. The marble markers at the head of each grave were placed there in 1907 replacing the rotted illegible wooden ones. Because of Jones accurate record keeping the graves were able to be marked with the new marble ones. Many families of the prisoners have been able to visit their loved ones grave, many have also brought some soil from their native state and poured it on the grave.


(April 2009) Enlarge This monument, at the west end of the Confederate section, was erected by the Daughters of The Confederacy on November 6, 1937


(April 2009) Enlarge Confederate section of the cemetery



(April 2009) Enlarge View of cemetery looking northwest

(April 2009) Enlarge Monument to the Shohola dead. Confederate soldiers killed at Shohola, whose bodies were disinterred, were buried here in a mass grave. This marker is facing south

Close-up of Confederate dead listing. This list is probably not accurate, as at the time of the wreck, 5 prisoners escaped. The bodies at the time of the wreck were so badly disfigured that identification was impossible


John Jones, runaway slave from Leesburg Virginia.

1817-December 26, 1900

Jones was the sexton of the Baptist Church in Elmira, and was in charge of all city burials at the time of the Civil War. He was placed in charge of the burial of the Confederate prisoners for 15 cents per burial. As more and more soldiers succumbed to disease and starvation he upped the price to $2.50 per body. His meticulous record keeping made it easy for relatives to find their loved ones body in the cemetery


(April 2009) Enlarge Shohola Monument: Opposite side from Confederate dead

List of Union guards from the Veteran Reserve Corps, who lost their lives in Shohola, are listed here


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