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Undertaker, wife among re-enactors

September 13, 1997

Although many Civil War dead were buried in mass graves, undertakers also did a brisk business.

A decent Christian burial cost $3, paid in advance, said undertaker re-enactors Ed and Nancy Ovsenik of Midland, Mich.

The undertaker would place his card in the soldier's pocket and collect his clients when the battle ended, they said.

Only the very wealthy were embalmed and sent home for burial at a cost of $75.

Undertakers' wives often were professional mourners at a cost of 30 cents a funeral.

Ovsenik wore a black and purple mourning ribbon, but not for re-enactment purposes. She wore it in remembrance of a fellow re-enactor's daughter, who was kidnapped and murdered last spring, she said.

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