North Carolina is one of the nation's fastest-growing states. But as development encroaches on wooded land once occupied by small farms, builders often encounter an unwelcome surprise — one of the state's estimated 30,000 abandoned graveyards, many of them dating from before the Civil War. When they do, they often call on Phillip Ellen, of Southern Pines, N.C., to sort things out. Ellen is the ultimate excavation subcontractor: For nearly 40 years, his company, Phillip Ellen & Associates, has specialized in relocating graves. Most site preparation involves paperwork, and moving graves is no exception. Before Ellen can begin moving dirt, the developer must advertise the intended relocation in the legal section of the local paper for four consecutive weeks, to give