Though cemeteries usually illicit thoughts of notable (albeit spooky) history, not many compare to the rich history you’ll find in Elmwood Cemetery.
In 1780, Abraham Shepherd gave the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church an acre of land, which is now the oldest part of the present cemetery. In 1833 the nearby Methodist Church purchased one-half acre that adjoined the border of the Presbyterian Graveyard. A fence originally separated the two cemeteries.
Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown, West Virginia is the final resting place for approximately 252 Confederate soldiers, many of whom died during the Battle of Antietam. The wounded were brought to Shepherdstown and those who died in hospitals were buried in Elmwood Cemetery. The final resting place of Henry Kyd Douglas, staff of General “Stonewall” Jackson, is a popular site here. Also buried in Elmwood are two Revolutionary War veterans, one veteran of the war of 1812, and veterans of the First and Second World Wars. Dr. Joseph McMurran, the first president of Shepherd College and a Confederate veteran, also rests here.
In 1869 ten acres to the south and west of the existing church cemeteries were purchased by several town businessmen and donated for use as a public cemetery. The cemetery was dedicated on June 5, 1869 as Elmwood Cemetery, and a monument to the dead was dedicated the next year. Located on Route 480, Elmwood Cemetery is open to the public.
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