Across the country, there are individuals and groups struggling mightily to protect and restore Civil War veterans’ graves in neglected and sometimes even forgotten cemeteries. The effort often takes a physical commitment as well as the expertise to attract public interest and funding. The Grand Army of the Republic cemetery in Seattle, Washington, where 600 Union vets are buried, is a welcome success story.
According to a story in Monday’s MyNorthwest.com by Rachel Belle, a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is the man to thank. Lee Corbin said he discovered the small cemetery while researching Medal of Honor recipients. One of those recipients was buried in the small GAR cemetery and, because he didn’t have an appropriate marker indicating his Medal of Honor status, Corbin arranged for a new stone. While he was at the cemetery, he noticed other stones were cracked or missing and on some, the names were even misspelled.
By the time Corbin had finished his work, 100 veterans had new stones.