Monument to the Unknown Dead.

Monument to the Unknown Dead

Field review by the editors.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knox County Potter's Field has six acres of mostly unmarked graves, filled with the bodies of thousands of forgotten suicides, stillborn babies, crime victims, Civil War casualties, and poor people. In 1937, around the time the burial ground was shut down, the county erected a tall monument to serve as a gravestone for everyone. It was engraved with a windy sonnet that begins:

"Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid, Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire...."

The boneyard itself was then forgotten, and the monument was eventually obscured by trees and bushes.

In 2012 the county hacked away the undergrowth, and the monument reappeared to surprise a generation that hadn't even known it was there.

Monument to the Unknown Dead

305 S. Kyle St., Knoxville, TN
East side of the city. From MLK Jr Ave. turn south onto S. Kyle St. You'll see the monument ahead, on the right.
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