Cemeteries Feed

Waterloo teen seeks to honor Civil War vets


Belleville News-Democrat

WATERLOO, Illinois — One hundred veterans of the Civil War are buried in cemeteries in or around Waterloo. But it would be hard to find them all, because some don’t even have headstones. 

However, Shane Douglas, 15, a sophomore at Waterloo High School, hopes to change that. For his Eagle Scout project, he plans to mark all 100 graves with die-cast bronze markers. 

“Civil War veterans’ graves are getting so worn off from all the elements that you can’t read them,” said Shane, who is a history enthusiast. 

He wants to make sure they get the recognition they deserve. 

Read more at: Belleville News Democrat


The Exhumation Of Lincoln’s Body 1901


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The Exhumation Of Lincoln’s Body 1901

Remembering the 1876 incident where a gang of men tried to steal his fathers body, Robert Lincoln wanted to ensure that no one would ever be able to disturb the resting place of his father. So he ordered that the coffin be placed in a cage some ten feet below ground and encased in concrete. The body was exhumed in 1901…This is the recounting of what happened…

In 1928, one of the witnesses who viewed the body, J. C. Thompson, said: “As I came up I saw that top-knot of Mr. Lincoln’s, his hair was coarse and thick, like a horse’s, he used to say, and it stood up high in front. When I saw that, I knew that it was Mr. Lincoln. Anyone who had ever seen his pictures would have known it was him. His features had not decayed. He looked just like a statue of himself lying there.” Another witness, Fleetwood Lindley, who was just thirteen when he saw the body, was the last of the twenty-three witnesses to pass away. Just before his death in 1963, he said in an interview: “Yes, his face was chalky white. His clothes were mildewed. And I was allowed to hold one of the leather straps as we lowered the casket for the concrete to be poured. I was not scared at the time, but I slept with Lincoln for the next six months.”

Credit for the condition of Lincoln’s body must go to undertaker Dr. Charles D. Brown, of the firm Brown and Alexander. Assisted by Harry P. Cattell, Brown embalmed the president’s body, first draining Lincoln’s blood through his jugular vein. Then, an incision was made in his thigh and the embalming fluids were pumped in, hardening the body like marble. Brown and Cattell then shaved the president’s face, leaving behind a tuft on the chin. They set the mouth in a slight smile and arched his eyebrows. They then dressed the president in his suit. The condition of Lincoln’s body supported the claims made in a Brown and Alexander advertising flyer, which touted the benefits of their patented embalming procedure over other methods of preserving bodies: “…the mortal remains will be kept in the most perfect and natural preservation, and that cherished countenance looked at once more, by those who may be led to remember and repeat these holy words of consolation: ‘He is not dead but sleepeth,’ until we meet again in a better world.”


Photo Credit : http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln13.html

From the CivilWarParlor on Tumblr

Stealing Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated In 1865, His Final Burial Didn’t Come Until 1901- The Plot To Steal The Corpse Of Abraham Lincoln

A band of Chicago counterfeiters hatched a plot to steal the President’s body from its tomb outside Springfield, Illinois, and hold it for a ransom of $200,000. A paid informant told the newly formed Secret Service. When both the police and the criminals showed up at the cemetery on the appointed night, the scheme was foiled. The coffin was moved and stored in various discreet locations in the cemetery over the following years. Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s son, decided to encase the president’s coffin in steel and concrete to prevent future disturbance.

Before the final interment, workers re-interring the president decided it was necessary to once again view Abraham Lincoln’s remains to prevent  rumors that the body was not Lincolns, in the soon to be permanent grave.

Two plumbers, Leon P. Hopkins and his nephew, Charles L. Willey, chiseled an oblong piece out of the top of the lead-lined coffin. The piece these two men cut out was just over Mr. Lincoln’s head and shoulders. When the casket was opened, a harsh, choking smell arose. 23 people slowly walked forward and peered down. Mr. Lincoln’s features were totally recognizable. His face had a melancholy expression, but his black chin whiskers hadn’t changed at all. The wart on his cheek and the coarse black hair were obvious characteristics of Mr. Lincoln’s. The biggest change was that the eyebrows had vanished. The president was wearing the same suit he wore at his second inauguration, but it was covered with yellow mold. Additionally there were some bits of red fabric (possibly the remnants of an American flag buried with Mr. Lincoln). All 23 people were unanimous in their agreement that the remains were indeed those of Abraham Lincoln.

The frequent embalming required for the deceased president’s seven-state funeral procession probably accounted for the impressive extent of the corpse’s preservation. Witnesses unanimously agreed that the coffin contained Lincoln’s remains.

The coffin was placed in a steel cage, buried 10 feet below the ground, and encased in concrete—permanently interred in a monument befitting Lincoln’s status. There Abraham Lincoln remains, at rest only after his coffin was moved 17 times and opened six. His final resting place, located in Oak Hill Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois, is and will continue to be one of the most sacred of historical landmarks in the United States.

Credit and original source: http://wafflesatnoon.com/abraham-lincoln-corpse-at-rest/

Credit and original source: http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln13.html

Oak Ridge Cemetery renovation


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The final resting place of Abraham Lincoln has recently received a major renovation that will allow visitors of the 150 anniversary of his funeral to enter Oak Ridge Cemetery through the original gate through which the hearse and coffin came in 1865.

The original funeral procession came through an entrance on the east side of the cemetery along First Street that was closed after a new entrance through Monument Avenue had been established.

The original wooden archway over the entrance deteriorated over time and has been replaced with one made of brushed aluminum textured to look like wood. The original dirt entrance road is now a concrete walkway with a gate and bollards that can be opened and closed for foot traffic. 

The restoration project involved more than $200.000 in donations of materials and services by 14 local companies as well as a $25,000 grant to the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association made it possible to turn the rusted, aged and largely forgotten iron gate into the entrance that long ago marked the final chapter in a two week train ride to bring Abraham Lincoln home.

From Allthingslincoln on Tumblr

Messinger Cemetery Memorial Dedication




The mission of making sure that eight men who answered the call to patriotism and service of the United States was not forgotten Saturday as a crowd braved temperatures in the low 30s to celebrate their memories and legacy.

The event was the dedication ceremony for the Veterans Monument at Messinger Cemetery at 3450 Old Collinsville Road near Swansea.

The monument is in honor of the eight veterans buried in the cemetery:

John Messinger, who served in the Blackhawk War; Pvt. John Altman, Pvt. H.B. Bevirt, Pvt. William A. Isaacs, Cpl. Daniel J.M. Phillips, Cpl. George D. Rittenhouse and Pvt. William H. Rutherford, who served in Company 1, 117th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War; and F1C John E. Neill, who served in the U.S. Navy in World War I.

Continue reading "Messinger Cemetery Memorial Dedication" »

Headstones for veterans unmarked graves

(Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)

By Brian Albrecht, The Plain Dealer 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The recent introduction of a bipartisan bill by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) to provide headstones for historic unmarked veterans graves came as welcome news to state and local historians.

The "Honor Those Who Served Act of 2014" would enable veterans service agencies, military researchers, historians or genealogists to request a free headstone or marker from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a veteran's grave.

Until 2012 the VA provided headstones for unmarked veterans' graves based on documentation of that vet's identity and service provided by these groups or individuals.

Continue reading "Headstones for veterans unmarked graves" »

Group brings honor to Civil War soldiers.

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Link to video

Art Holliday, KSDK

ST. LOUIS - A local genealogy organization is pleasantly surprised it successfully lobbied the Department of Veterans Affairs for a group of soldiers who no longer have a voice.

Newschannel 5 first met Sarah Cato in April 2013 at a meeting of the St. Louis African American History and Genealogy Society. The group's goal: come to the rescue of the 56th U.S. Colored Infantry, Missouri slaves who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War.

Continue reading "Group brings honor to Civil War soldiers." »

TN man believes he has found unmarked Civil War graveyard

Civil War historian Dan Griggs

Reported by Dennis Ferrier

Dan Griggs is a Civil War historian and his Dover museum is full of amazing artifacts. But he may have made the discovery of a lifetime using a divining rod.

"You keep it loosely in your hand at all times, and once you cross undisturbed ground, it will automatically turn on its own," Griggs said.

Three weeks later, he has mapped out an incredible possible 3,536 graves.

"My findings would not stand up in court," he said.

Griggs, however, is not without credibility. He used his dowser to find the unmarked mass grave of 17 Confederate soldiers. There is now a monument for those soldiers in Dover.

These possible graves are under five different properties, including Darrell Watson's, who believes the state should immediately come in and investigate.

State archeologist Michael Moore said he is very interested in seeing what's in Dover, but the state doesn't have the time, money or resources to investigate something that has been discovered using divining rods.

"What we need is an archaeologist to verify what is here and then as far as a monument or whatever for these boys, I will try to raise the money to get them one," Griggs said.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Union soldier exhumed in 1864

Samuel Weaver (holding open book at right) supervising African American laborers in the exhumation of the grave of a presumably Union soldier who died in Hanover, Pennsylvania, 1864. The soldier’s remains were to be relocated to Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg.


From  http://chubachus.tumblr.com

Abner Doubleday

Brig. Gen. Abner Doubleday (June 26, 1819 – Jan. 26, 1893). He was a U.S. Army officer and Union general in the Civil War. He fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter, the opening battle of the war and saw combat action at Second Bull Run, South Mountain, and Antietam. He had a vital role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg. After the war, he continued to serve in the Army and even obtained a patent on a cable car railway. He left the Army in 1873 and became a lawyer. Doubleday is often credited with inventing baseball.

From Arlington National Cemetery