The gruesome task of exhuming and re-interring thousands of bodies on the Gettysburg battlefield was made easier by early efforts to locate and document the temporary burial places of countless soldiers. To modern historians, the most widely known of these efforts is the survey published in 1864 by “S. G. Elliot.” The map, which delineates 8,352 individual burial locations and 345 dead horses, was for many years out of circulation, ultimately reappearing in the collections of the Library of Congress during the 1930s. According to Civil War historian William A. Frassanito, the Elliott map represents the first professional post-battle survey of the field. And while it has been used in hundreds, if not thousands, of books, articles, and Gettysburg studies, very little has been written about its origins. Even less has been said about the man whose name it bears.

Finding S.G. Elliott

Andrew Dalton is the executive director of the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

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