Civil War Veterans in Previously Unmarked Graves Honored Decades Later

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Iowa's Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) aims to honor the people who were laid to rest in their cemetery.

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) was founded in 1883, and one of its priorities was to locate the resting places of all Union Civil War veterans and to see them properly marked, according to local outlet KMTV.

Many of the headstones in the Kinsman Monument in Council Bluffs' Fairview Cemetery — where veterans who served for the Union Army in the Civil War have been buried — are unmarked, and Iowa’s SUVCW is aiming to change that. 

“Some of these have been unmarked for well over 100 years,” SUVCW's graves registration officer, Roy Linn, said.

Linn and Michael Carr, captain of Kinsman Camp Guard, told the outlet that this site was previously one of the most unmarked, and they wanted to change that.

“Probably the four most important years in American history,” Carr said. “If we hadn’t won the war, who knows how our country would’ve turned out.”

“We are dedicating 35 stones for men who never got a headstone, and one for the men we could not locate but know they are here,” Carr said.

This is a joint effort between Colonel William Kinsman Camp, SUVCW of Atlantic, Iowa, and the Veterans Administration, which took hundreds hours researching, ordering, and preparing, according to the outlet.

“We sent over 76,000 men, which is the most of any state, and we lost 13,000, which is also the most of any state per capita,” Carr said. 

“So, Iowa did its share and then some.

“You look at the dates on the stones and the regiments that they served in — they came from everywhere,” Linn said. 

“They became the doctors and the lawyers and the farmers and the railroad men to build this community.”

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