Cemeteries on post date back half a millennium
May 28, 2010
- There are 85 cemeteries throughout Fort Benning.
- Most of them in remote firing areas.
- Each is documented by name and location in the geographic information system (GIS), which is used to track training activity.
There's a host of history buried under Fort Benning, and officials with the Directorate of Public Works said all of it is being protected.
Christopher Hamilton, chief of Environmental Programs Management Branch, said there are 85 cemeteries throughout the installation - most of them in remote firing areas.
The cemeteries range in size from two graves to dozens of graves. Some are marked and unmarked, and the oldest graves contain Indian remains dating back 500 years, Hamilton said.
Finding the cemeteries involved years of searching across the post's 183,000 acres, he said. Each is documented by name and location in the geographic information system (GIS), which is used to track training activity.
Families can visit the graves at anytime by contacting the post real property department and range patrol, said Dominick DeCarlo, real estate specialist contractor.
Hamilton said preserving the cemeteries is preserving history.
"It gives us a connection to the land," he said. "Even if you aren't still living around here, it's good to know where you came from."
DeCarlo said tracking and preserving the cemeteries is a worthwhile effort.
"There's a lot of work involved, but this is a government service," he said.