Introduction to "Cemeteries of Fort Bragg, Camp MacKall and Pope Air Force Base"

by Beverly A. Boyko and William H. Kern

The authors are compiling genealogical data on the individuals found in these cemeteries. Please contact Beverly Boyko to contribute information.

Sandstone was the only material available to local craftsmen in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Several sandstone markers in this survey exhibit a similar style and were probably produced by the same individual identified in Little 1984 as the "Upper Cape Fear Master". Although his identity is unknown his hand carved stones with their Baroque shape (serpentine and round-on-flat, see Appendix A), ruled lettering and references to the patron as well as the deceased are unique.

Sandstone was replaced by marble and local craftsmen by professional stonecutters in the early part of the 19th century, when the local population had grown enough to support a stonecutter. From the 1820s to the 1840s Apollos Sweetland, David Anderson Jr. and James Foster were among several itinerant stonecutters who worked out of Fayetteville. These businessmen would procure a shipment of stone and then advertise and produce grave markers until they ran out of supplies or customers. Often they would shift into a new market area when business in one dried up.

Lauder was the most prolific of all stonecutters represented in the cemeteries of Fort Bragg. His name appears on 54 headstones in this survey but he is probably responsible for a great many more. Lauder was an Edinburgh stonecutter who came to North Carolina in the 1830s to work on the State Capitol. He established his business in Fayetteville in 1845 (as cited in Little 1984). Lauder used both American and foreign marble ranging in styles typical of each decade from the 1840s to the 1880s.

E. L. Remsburg apprenticed under Lauder and took over his business in the 1880s (Little 1984). He continued with some of Lauder's designs through the 1890s until he sold his business to I.V. Hooper, who in turn was bought out by Troy Cain around 1925. Four generations after Lauder established his business it is still in operation today as Cain Memorials (Little 1984).

W.G. Berryhill, Charlotte (1896) and Cooper's of Raleigh (1880 & 1884) were stonecutters who operated their businesses in the last two decades of the 19th century (Little pers. comm. 1995 from Branson's Business Directory).

The design, motifs and materials used by stone cutters are indicative of particular periods (see Appendix A). For example, the shield-like diamond shaped sandstone markers found at Long Street Presbyterian Church may be an 18th century continuance of a Scottish tradition which originated in the custom of inserting a slain warrior's shield into the grave as a memorial (Little 1984). The use of the phrase "Erected by ____" also is the continuation of a Scotch-Irish tradition (Little 1984). Small scale markers with serpentine or round-on-flat tops were popular in the 1840s. These Baroque styles gave way to the tall, thin rectangular markers in the 1850s. Such large markers were often decorated with calligraphy and/or variations of the urn and willow motif. By the 1860s these tall markers were commonly left undecorated. In the 1870s the markers were thickened and the tops usually a round or flat arch. Large beaded or molded borders and High Victorian Eastlake ornamentation such as the Crown and Cross, Broken Branch and Heavenly City motifs, were popular. By this period, the headstones were commonly inserted into a thick base. Fraternal symbols, references to military and civic service, Biblical verses and poetry were also often included on markers. Two words commonly found on a woman's marker may confuse the modern reader about a woman's relationship with her husband. These are "consort" meaning wife, and "relict" meaning widow. Children's markers were frequently decorated with carvings of a flowering branch cut from its tree or the stump of a sapling, each symbolic of a young life cut short.

Persons wishing to visit any of these cemeteries should first contact Fort Bragg's Public Affairs Officer to obtain permission. This may be done by writing to the following address:

XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg
Public Affairs Office
Fort Bragg, NC 28307-5000

Visitors are cautioned that Fort Bragg is a military reservation with active programs of field and weapons training as well as forest, wildlife and cultural resource management. Access to the maneuver area is carefully controlled for reasons of both national security and public safety. All visits to cemeteries must be coordinated in advance with both Range Control and the Post Engineer.

Readers are encouraged to submit corrections to this publication, report the location of any unlisted cemeteries located on these installations and to provide genealogical or biographical information about any of the individuals and families listed herein. This may be done by writing to the following address:

XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg
Directorate of Public Works and Environment
Fort Bragg, North Carolina 28307-5000

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