Thursday, September 17, 2009

Remains of Union Soldier to Be Buried in New York

A previous blog post, Remains of Union Soldier Found at Antietam Battlefield, dealt with the discovery of the remains of an unidentified Union soldier by a visitor to the Antietam National Battlefield and the steps that were being taken by specialists to identify the remains.

As the team of specialists predicted, no positive identification could be made. Nearly a year after the discovery, however, the remains – consisting of 400 bone fragments, 13 uniform buttons, a U.S. belt buckle, and some scraps of fabric and leather – were taken to New York, the soldier’s home state as indicated by the insignia on the buttons. The remains, along with some soil from the battlefield, were placed in a donated pine coffin by six National Park Service rangers and two Civil War re-enactors in Union uniforms. The coffin was covered by a 34-star U.S. flag. Two Army National Guardsmen and a volunteer motorcycle escort accompanied the remains on the 330-mile trip to the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, where the burial took place today, the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg.