SOURCE: The Tennessean (6-16-09)
Using shovels, brushes and dirt sifters, the partial skeleton of an unknown Civil War solider was exhumed Monday from his longtime burial plot along Columbia Avenue by a team of archaeologists.
The newly exhumed remains, which included bones from both of the man's legs as well as burial artifacts, will be kept by state environmental officials until a final burial site can be determined.
The man's upper skeleton was initially recovered by crews who discovered the remains about a month ago while digging a trench. The body was found at the Through the Green site on Columbia Avenue where a mixed-use development is being constructed.
Rather than leave the body in the ground, the site's developer, Wolfe Co., got legal permission to have the body excavated.
The mystery about who the man might have been — and why he was buried alone with no apparent markings — deepened Monday. Among the burial artifacts uncovered are nails from the man's shoes, a button and greenish-amber glass bead, said Larry McKee, senior archaeologist with TRC Companies Inc.
Several brass buttons bearing what appeared to be Union insignia, nails and a bullet had earlier been uncovered. Some historians say they believe the man was a Union soldier though no conclusive proof has been discovered.