The photograph above is from the series made under the direction of Union Surgeon, Dr. Reed Bontecou in April 1866. It is identified as showing graves of Union dead on the James Carpenter Farm, near the Wilderness Battlefield. Only one grave marker appears to bear a name, that of Sgt. Richard Ross of the 40th New York Infantry. All images are clickable for greater detail.
The 40th New York was in the 3rd Division of the 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac. Utilizing a hand-drawn map of the 2nd Corps hospital site, supplied by NPS Historian Don Pfanz, and assumed to be from the National Archives collection, your blog host was able to place the vicinity of the four divisions on the modern landscape. After studying the topographic features in the area of the 3rd Division, I was able to find the burial location photographed in 1866, still looking very much as it did then. The bodies had been removed prior to 1876 and reinterred in Fredericksburg on Willis Hill, in the National Cemetery. The hospital site is now the home of the Spotsylvania chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
In November of 2010, NPS Historian John Hennessy wrote a blog feature on Mysteries and Conundrums, which examined the original photograph. In a comment I submitted to that post, I speculated that the burial site would probably be in the range of 75 yards from the road. The location turned out to be about 112 yards from the main road, but alongside what appeared to be a slight road cut within the property.
Aerial map of the former Carpenter Farm on Herndon Road, near
the Wilderness battlefield, approximately two miles northeast from where
the 40th was engaged and Sgt. Ross would have been wounded.
I have indicated the area where each division treated their wounded, as
well as the burial area for the 3rd Division, in the upper right, marked "graves".
Note: This land is PRIVATE PROPERTY, do not trespass.
Seen above is a document from the widow's petition for pension filed by Eliza Ross,
October 14, 1864. She would receive eight dollars per month. Ross also left
behind a daughter, Catherine, not yet two years old when her father fell.
The detail above is from the previous document.
The Ross residence, at 36 Pitt St., in New York City, was likely cleared away for construction
of the Williamsburg Bridge, begun in 1896. The area today, as seen below at the corner of
Delancey Street South, retains no resemblance to its 19th century appearance.
A close-up detail of the original marker for Sgt. Richard Ross.
Your blog host recently visited the Fredericksburg National Cemetery
to pay respects at the relocated grave of Sgt. Richard Ross, number 3994.
ROSS, RICHARD. Age 30 years at enlistment. Enlisted in Brooklyn, and mustered in on Oct. 24, 1861, as a Private in Co. H, 87th N. Y. Inf. Transferred, Sept. 6, 1862, to Co. K, 40th N. Y., the Mozart Regiment. Captured on May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, and paroled Oct. 9, 1863. Promoted to Sergeant in Co. C, upon re-enlistment as a veteran, Dec. 29, 1863. Wounded in action, May 5, 1864 in the Wilderness, and died of wounds at the Carpenter Farm Hospital site, May 9, 1864. Buried initially on the hospital site and eventually reinterred in the National Cemetery at Fredericksburg, Va.
The vicinity of the fighting where Sgt. Ross was likely wounded, south of the Orange Plank Road.
The view looks southwest from the Union position, toward the advance of McGowan's South
Carolinians, followed, to the viewer's left, by Scales' North Carolinians.