1st Corp. Mathew Coleman

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---------------------------------------------------------------Mathew M. Coleman as the son of Lavinia Winnie "Wine" Douglas and Elisha Coleman. He was born Jan. 12th, 1843 in Emanuel County, Georgia. He enlisted in the McLeod Artillery, later known as the Ben Hill Guards, on Oct. 1st, 1861. He was appointed 1st Corp. in 1862 and Sergeant on Aug. 1st, 1862. He was killed in action at the battle of Sharpsburg (or Antietam) on Sept. 17th, 1862. The battle of Antietam, remains to this very day, the bloodiest day in American history.

Evidence suggests Mathew Coleman was not killed during the battle, but was probably wounded and captured. A survey of the graves on the battlefield was conducted by the State of Maryland in 1869. The remains of Pvt. Coleman were reportedly buried along with about twenty other Confederate soldiers near the George Line farm. The entry lists the names and regiments of all twenty soldiers and reads:

"Buried west of George Line’s house in his new ground along side of an old white oak tree near his pond and north of the road leading to his house. The ground is low and wet and has been plowed. Graves pretty much exposed."

George Line's house was located well within the Federal lines and about one mile north east of the cornfield where the regiment was heavily engaged. The Line house and out buildings undoubtedly served as a field hospital after the battle. These twenty or so Confederate soldiers were probably treated at this field hospital and died of their wounds.

During the early 1870's, the State of Maryland gathered the remains of the Confederate soldiers from the battlefield and buried them in Washington Confederate Cemetery, which is located inside Hagerstown's Rose Hill Cemetery, Hagerstown, Maryland. Pvt. Mathew Coleman holds the unique distinction of being the only identified member of the 38th Ga. buried in this cemetery. The graves are not individually marked, but cemetery records show Coleman, Mathew M., 1st Corp., Co. C, 38th Regt. Vol. Infantry. The vast majority of the Antietam CSA dead were re-interred in this cemetery during the 1870's. Of the 2,468 CSA buried here, only 346 are known. It is very likely that most of 38th Ga. soldiers killed in the battle of Antietam are buried here in unmarked graves.

His father, Elisha Coleman, spent several months dealing with the Confederate govt. trying to obtain the back pay due his son upon his death. Below are copies of some of the correspondence concerning his pay, between Elish Coleman and his lawyer and contained in his Confederate service records.

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