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  • Writer's pictureNancy Rogers

A HERO AT GETTYSBURG

I discovered this headstone recently completely by accident, but I thought you might find it interesting. It memorializes the grave of Major Egbert A. Ross, born in 1842. According to his headstone, he “fell on the bloody heights of Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863 while gallantly leading the 11th North Carolina Regiment. Major Ross was: 20 years, 9 months and 21days old. His parents called him “one of the purest patriots of the war.”


I wanted to know more so I went on line. I learned that he was a student in military school when the war broke out, where upon he joined a volunteer militia called the “Charlotte Grays.” Following some skirmishes in which he showed exemplary leadership, Ross went on to become a field officer of the 11th Regiment at the age of 19.

Ross was mortally wounded during one of the bloodiest battles at Gettysburg.

The action was captured by a young lieutenant of the Charlotte Grays:

“Ross was with our company," he wrote. " He (Ross) was shot with a grape shot in the right side, and it went nearly through him. It was about the size of an egg. He lived about four hours and we buried him . . . the night of the first. I got a piece of plank, put his name on it with his rank for a head board.”


Ross’s remains were later recovered, and he is buried at Elmwood Cemetery, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County.

The reason I'm showing you a close-up of Ross's headstone, is because it is an example of how beautifully headstones can be restored now.

Beneath Major Ross's name, which is clearly original to the headstone, the space below was sandblasted or treated in some way to provide a clean surface upon which a new epilogue could be laser cut.

I'm beginning to see these restored headstones more and more. I'm so pleased that this delicate restoration method is available. See if you can fine one in your favorite cemetery.

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