Unmarked graves revealed to be two Civil War veterans

Local News

IRONTON, OH (WOWK) – During the Civil War era, some soldiers were buried in unmarked graves and have remained that way for more than a hundred years. In an effort to put names on headstones, one group in Ironton, Ohio found two Civil War veterans were buried in a local cemetery.

African-American Civil War veterans, Private John Evans and Private Jefferson Finley have been identified as the two soldiers in the W.B. Kelley Cemetery in Ironton.

After some research, their headstones will finally be placed where family members can visit. In recognition of the two men who served in the Union Army, their descendants were invited to attend an unveiling ceremony.

Family members like Private John Evans great-great-grandson Timoth Copney traveled all the way from Baltimore, Maryland. Copney says being back with his family and being able to honor his relatives was “almost like magic.”

Following the ceremony family members and representatives from the community placed wreaths and rose peddles in front of the new headstones.

Patriotic instructor for the Auxiliary Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Kim Vallalvo, says information like a soldier’s name and years of service takes time and effort to uncover in this day in age.

You have to always follow trails and you may uncover one piece and you have to just keep diving into it and keep asking more and more questions.

Kim Vallalvo, Auxiliary Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War patriotic instructor

With this gesture, these family members can now visit their family’s headstones and place flowers to honor their relatives on this Memorial Day.

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