Chattanooga Confederate Cemetery groundskeepers in Tennessee unexpectedly discovered the grave site of prominent African-American soldier Shaderick Searcy during a grounds sweep, according to News Channel 9.
Searcy, born an enslaved man in Talbot County, Georgia on March 1, 1846, joined the war as a servant to two brothers. He served in the Army of Tennessee until 1865. Searcy later located to Chattanooga in 1903. Federal records indicate that Searcy has been buried at the CCC since 1999 — but under the incorrect grave marker. His exact location was unknown until recently, when crews began the reconstruction to a stone wall. The crew member discovered the grave once he thought he stumbled upon a rock, but in fact it was the soldier’s headstone marking.
The CCC is the final resting place for nearly 44,ooo veterans and is the only national cemetery containing the remains of legendary heroes of war from both World War I and II. Before this discovery, there has not been record of any other misplaced grave sites at the CCC.
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers, recognizes Searcy as a noble African-American figure in history and one of the most prominent men laid to rest at the cemetery. SCV prides itself on preserving the history and legacy of fallen heroes, so that future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause. It offers ongoing programs for members and a wide range of activities, such as preservation work, marking Confederate soldier’s graves, historical re-enactments, scholarly publications, and regular meetings to discuss the military and political history.
Searcy was buried a Confederate soldier and received pensions for his dedicated and honorary service to the United Confederate Veterans, and to his country until his death at the age of 91.