Cargo Monument, Union Dale Cemetery

This is one of the metal monuments in the Union Dale Cemetery, and Father Pitt would like to know more about them. They imitate the forms of stone in metal; are they cast replacements for original stone monuments? —An update: According to a Smithsonian article, these are made of zinc, or “white bronze” as the marketers called it, which was popular as a cheap alternative to stone or bronze for a while at the end of the nineteenth century.

Thomas H. Cargo, a Civil War veteran, has a stanza from a favorite hymn—“Christ Will Gather In His Own,” by Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf, translated by Catherine Winkworth—as his epitaph. The words may have been written from memory, since they differ slightly from the published version:

Had He asked us, well we know
We should cry, “O spare this blow!”
Yes, with streaming tears should pray,
“Lord, we love him, let him stay.”

The last two lines are not from the hymn, but are a couplet that, in various versions, often appears on tombstones.

The three young sons remembered on this side have as their epitaph a poem that appears on many children’s tombstones; it was probably once composed by some known poet, but Father Pitt has been unable to find it anywhere except as an epitaph. The exact words often vary slightly.


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