. . .
Sloped on the hill the mounds were green,
Our centre held that place of graves,
And some still hold it in their swoon,
And over these a glory waves.
The warrior-monument, crashed in fight,
Shall soar transfigured in loftier light,
A meaning ampler bear;
Soldier and priest with hymn and prayer
Have laid the stone, and every bone
Shall rest in honor there.
Melville's poem "Gettysburg. / The Check. / (July, 1863.)" appears in Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War (New York, 1866) on pages 84-5. Without identifying Sgt. Huber by name, Melville provided more details about the broken gravestone "of a Federal officer killed before Richmond in 1862" in his note to "Gettysburg'":
"Among numerous head-stones or monuments on Cemetery Hill, marred or destroyed by the enemy's concentrated fire, was one, somewhat conspicuous, of a Federal officer killed before Richmond in 1862.
On 4th July, 1865, the Gettysburg National Cemetery, on height with the original burial-ground, was consecrated, and the corner-stone laid of a commemorative pile."
-- Battle-Pieces, page 249
Melville may not have known the soldier's name but he correctly gave the place and year of his death. Frederick Huber, First Sergeant Company F of the Twenty-Third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry aka Birney's Zouaves was killed at Fair Oaks, Virginia in the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, 1862.
- Honoring the Union dead in Melville's "Gettysburg"