Otherwise, your readers are left wondering: What's the story behind the story?
A mystery begins in the Wytheville Enterprise:
What Civil War graves? one might ask.
One isn't told.
This is as close as we get to an explanation:
"Last month, a team of students and two professors from Radford University traveled to Wytheville to scientifically test an area of the cemetery that, according to local history buffs, may have unidentified Civil War soldiers buried in unmarked graves."
The rest of the article goes into the search for remains.
Remains of unidentified soldiers buried in unidentified graves in an unidentified circumstance that got them there in the first place.
For that necessary background information one must turn to this weblog. And to Colonel F.E. Franklin, USA, July 23, 1863:
On the l8th our column arrived in the neighborhood of Wytheville. Colonel Toland immediately sent two companies to the railroad, ten miles west of the town, to destroy the track and wires. It was then his intention to divide the balance of his force one part for the bridge, the other for Wytheville but for the want of a guide he could not do that. He therefore marched his whole remaining force on Wytheville. But the town was occupied by about five hundred troops concealed in the houses, besides two pieces of artillery. The contest of the most obstinate hand to hand fighting lasted about one and a half hours. We, however, carried the town by storm and with a perfect rush. As the soldiers, citizens, and even the women fired from their houses, both public and private, we burned the town to ashes. We had three commissioned officers killed and four wounded, fourteen men killed, twenty six wounded, and thirty eight missing and prisoners.As was often the case in after-battle reports, the numbers of engaged, wounded, and killed in action are wildly exaggerated.
By the time the action was over and I had rallied my men the enemy had received seven hundred reinforcements in our front and three hundred cavalry in our rear, besides which there were a regiment of infantry and a battery of artillery at the Long Bridge. We therefore concluded it would be madness to attempt anything more except the destruction of a large culvert east of the town, which we effected. The loss of the enemy in killed was estimated at seventy five, the number of wounded unknown. We took eighty six prisoners. (source)
It is said that of the Union soldiers killed and left behind when Toland's raiding party retreated (leaving him behind as well - he was killed early on) Protestants were separated from Catholics (how those who did the burying knew can only be surmised; captured Union soldier info maybe?) and only the Protestant Yankees (seven in number?) were buried in St. John's Cemetery. Exact location unknown.
There you have the rest of the story.