Most of us understand why it is so important to preserve and maintain sites like Confederate Hill. You might have a few questions about why we are going about it as we are. Let me anticipate some of your concerns.
Why aren't you using replacement stones provided free of charge by the Department of Veterans Affairs?
VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) stones are shaped differently from the original markers found on Confederate Hill. There are already a few on the Hill and the difference is very obvious. In an effort to preserve the historic look of Confederate Hill, we chose to use 12" x 12" granite stones placed level with the ground in front of any existing original marker. VA stones that can be placed level with the ground are too large for the available space in most cases.
In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs will only provide a “free” marker in cases where no marker exists.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. The VA may also provide a headstone or marker for graves that are marked with a private headstone or marker, for veterans that died on or after November 1, 1990.
The vast majority of graves in need of a readable mark on Confederate Hill do not qualify. Most have a marker. That marker is simply unreadable. Even if a new upright VA stone could be acquired, the cemetery would charge a $260.00 installation fee. This fee would not be tax-deductible.
Can I adopt any Confederate on the hill?
Yes. Exceptions: Those interred in private burial plots, those with existing VA or other special markers, or those who have already been adopted, will be unavailable. As a result, if you have a particular soldier you would prefer to adopt, I would advise you to get your selection in soon. When making your selection, please keep in mind that we would like to see new stones go first to those with a missing or unreadable marker.
How do I adopt a Confederate?
Simply select a soldier that has not yet been chosen and make a $200.00 tax-deductible donation to cover the cost of the engraved marker. (See below for more information.) This donation amounts to just 55 cents a day over the course of a year. Loudon Park Cemetery is producing these stones at cost and the friends and members of the Gilmor Camp, SCV, are installing the stones themselves in order to reduce the cost further.
What happens when I adopt a Confederate?
You will receive a certificate of thanks that will include your name or the name of you organization, the name of the soldier you've adopted and the unit(s) in which he served. You will also receive a letter indicating the amount of your donation, which is tax-deductible. You will also receive an invitation to attend the dedication of your marker at a ceremony conducted annually at Confederate Hill, Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore.