What should be done with the human remains recently found in the Carter garden at the Carter Grounds?

I asked the following question on our Facebook Group (www.FranklinMatters.com) recently.  If you’re not a “fan” of our group you are missing great conversations like these.

What should be done with the human remains found at the Carter garden, on the Federal line? Interred at the unknown marker in Rest Haven? Studied for DNA source? Other thoughts?

Gary V. Nichols
Be given a respectful burial with full military honors.

Amber Stout Adkins
I agree with Gary–respectful burial and full military honors–they deserve at least that much.

Gene Harmon
Amen !!

JoAnne Lively Davis
If that land is going to be part of the site – why can’t they bury the remains with honors right there, where they perished??

The Battle of Franklin
Interesting idea, but would it be legal to?

Gary V. Nichols
I know some states require the land for burial to be a cemetery. However, the argument can be made that it already is one and cannot see a judge anywhere disagreeing.

Tony Estes
Study for a DNA source. This man has been away from his family for way too long. And if he turns out to be a Confederate soldier why not bury him with his brothers at Carnton?

The Battle of Franklin
What if the Carter House (i.e., Battle of Franklin Trust) applied for cemetery status legally in the Garden section and formally interred all human remains under one unknown marker designation? They will no doubt find more human remains around there.

Gene Harmon
Legal ? I dont see why not. There are numerous battlefields with graves of lone unknown soldiers on them. One fresh in my mind is an unknown federal soldier near the Dead Angle at Kennesaw.

Stacie Dorris-Shelton
When you get ready to do the interment…You can contact your local chapter of the UDC to do the planning. They can also aid you in getting the appropriate markers to honor these soldiers. I can get you in touch with the Tennessee Division President if you like, she is a member of our Chapter. Message me if you are interested….

The Battle of Franklin
I wonder if modern DNA tests could be done on the remains/fragments to determine how many soldiers are represented with these remains?

Stacie Dorris-Shelton
Yes, I believe so. They can match up each bone with the DNA information. Then it should only be a matter of counting how many different sets of DNA are there…That probably should be done to keep the remains separate. After what they have been through, they should deserve to have their own final resting places.

Stacie Dorris-Shelton
Here is a link to an article that the people have done exactly what you are proposing to do….Maybe that will help you out.

Joel H. Hutto
I would definitely do the dna testing, the finger that was found, the soldier may have survived the battle. It would be interesting if there is enough dna to do at least a y chromosone dna test if that is possible. Some of those bones may belong to soldiers who survived or may already be interred elsewhere.

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