Delaware, Ohio, Cemetery Exhumes Bodies of Confederate Soldiers-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The Delaware City Council approved exhuming and relocating the bodies of Confederate soldiers from Oak Grove Cemetery in response to violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Truth:

A self-described fake news website is behind false reports that a Delaware cemetery has begun exhuming the bodies of Confederate soldiers.

The article appeared at Delaware Ohio News under the headline, “Delaware Cemetery Begins Exhuming Bodies of Confederate Soldiers.” Citing reports of white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the report claimed that the Delaware City Council had approved removing the bodies of Confederate soldiers:

The decision to relocate Confederate graves comes after violence broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last week. One woman who was protesting against the white nationalist groups in attendance was killed when James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters.

Of 32 civil war graves at Oak Grove, 6 contain Confederate soldiers. Work started early Saturday morning and is expected to wrap up this weekend.

The post was viewed more than 180,000 times within a week of being posted. Many of the readers were angered by the idea of exhuming the bodies of Confederate soldiers, and hundreds of them unloaded in the article’s comments section.

delaware cemetery confederate
A false report that a Delaware cemetery began removing the bodies of Confederate soldiers appeared in August 2017.

The first red flag is that the post claims that 32 Civil War graves would be exhumed. There are only 17 Civil War veterans buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, according to its website, making it impossible to exhume 32 bodies.

The second red flag is the photo that accompanies the article. It shows an excavator digging in a cemetery, leading readers to believe it’s exhuming the body of a Confederate soldier. The photo was actually taken in November 2010, and it shows a grave being dug in Powder Mill Lane Cemetery in the London Borough of Hounslow. The photo was taken from the image-sharing site Flickr.

Finally, a disclaimer that appears in the website’s footer states, “Everything on this website is made up. Do not rely on anything said here.”

Given all that, we’re calling reports that a Delaware cemetery has begun exhuming the bodies of Confederate soldiers “fiction.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 08/28/2017
delaware cemetery confederate
A false report that a Delaware cemetery began removing the bodies of Confederate soldiers appeared in August 2017.