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Forgotten graves honored at N.C. hospital

Nov. 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM   |   Comments

RALEIGH, N.C., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Graves in an old cemetery at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., are being identified after decades of being lost under refuse, workers said.

Graphic artist Gracie Jenkins said one of the graves identified at the psychiatric hospital's cemetery belonged to slain Confederate soldier Aristarchus Lee Jenkins, who was a patient at the hospital until he died in 1891, the Raleigh News & Observer said Monday.

Graves at the cemetery had long since been forgotten as the surrounding city of Raleigh landfill began covering graves with large piles of refuse, hospital workers said.

To unearth the graves and identify those individuals buried within them, volunteers began a restoration effort nearly two decades ago, the News & Observer reported.

Jenkins said the effort ultimately led to the identification of the grave belonging to her great-great-uncle and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid for a new marble headstone for the grave.

"Aristarchus laid his life on the line to defend his homeland," Jenkins said of her ancestor. "I didn't think he should be forgotten about."

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