SALISBURY, N.C. -- There are 3,500 Union Soldiers buried at Salisbury National Cemetery who are in mass graves.

Author and Civil War Researcher Mark Hughes have been fighting a 9 year battle with the Veterans Administration to mark the graves.

They deserve honor, we don t understand their sacrifice, said Hughes

The soldiers were held captive in Salisbury in a prisoner of war camp and died from various causes.

These soldiers were buried in 13 trenches without head boards or coffins so we can't tell you who is buried where but they know who is in the Cemetery, said the author.

Hughes says that hospital records from the National Archives shows who is buried in Salisbury, he has sent off 4 requests to get the V.A. to make a change.

These people s relatives deserve to know where their relatives are interned, he said.

The V.A. has said because the Cemetery is a historical site, they don t want to make a change; but Hughes says that rule has been broken any number of times at other cemeteries.

I think part of the problem is they are a bureaucracy this is something they have never had occur in a National Cemetery, said Hughes.

His latest request was sent off in March, he has not heard back yet on that effort, but Hughes says just like those Civil War Veterans who gave their last full measure, he intends to give his to see they are properly remembered.

These men's parents, their wives, their mothers in particular their children brothers and sisters they never knew what happened to them.

Hughes hopes that one day he ll be able visit Salisbury National and see a large marble stone with a bronze plaque naming all 3,500 soldiers.

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