Captain William Latane was the only Confederate soldier killed in J.E.B. Stuart's famous "Ride around McClellan" in the late spring of 1862. Following Captain Latane's death in hand-to-hand combat, his younger brother James loaded his body on a farm cart and carried it to Westwood, the nearby home of Mrs. Catherine Brockenbrough, and was taken prisoner by Federal troops as he turned the body over for interment. These same troops refused to allow a clergyman to pass through their lines to conduct the burial service, so Captain Latane was buried in the garden at Westwood attended only by Mrs. Brockenbrough, Mrs. Willoughby Newton, who read the funeral service, a handful of women and children, and a few slaves.
Immediately after the War, William D. Washington painted an oil on canvas entitled "The Burial of Latane." Engravings of the painting published soon thereafter and made available at reasonable cost were hung in parlors throughout the South. The picture quickly became a major symbol of mourning for "the Lost Cause."
"The Burial of Latane"
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Last modified 16-April-2001