"The last full measure of devotion..."

(March 11, 2004) - (Helena-AP) -- Civil War reenactors will give a proper burial later this month to six Confederate soldiers killed in the Battle of Helena. Their remains were found in a mass grave in a wooded area within Helena's city limits in 2002, when a hunter noticed a few bones visible above ground. The remains will be re-interred at the city's Confederate Cemetery on March 20th. Terry Bandy, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member who helped build a period casket for the remains, says the soldiers deserve a proper funeral even if it is almost 141 years late. The funeral will be attended by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Daughters of the Confederacy, the military order Stars and Bars, living historians and Civil War re-enactors from five states. The handles of the coffin the remains will be buried in are adorned with replica Confederate belt buckles. The soldiers' identities are unknown, but results of forensic tests, combined with lists of the battle's missing and dead, could help historians interested in learning more about them. The remains were found at the site of Battery D, a Federal artillery site on the south side of Helena that was attacked by Confederate troops.