Eric and Gretchen Kozen
The Scene: Oakdale Cemetery, June 25, 2004.
A long overdue ceremony to mark Grave No. 5, Row No. 8 and honor Sgt. Broughton, Union soldier, 2nd West Virginia Cavalry, who died April 10, 1865. Gretchen is Sgt. Broughtons second great-niece. Shes flown in from Pennsylvania for a beach vacation and this ancestral gathering. Shes holding a box of handwritten letters from Sgt. Broughton to his mother and family, dated 1862-1865. Eric is the superintendant of Oakdale Cemetery and has outdone himself to give Sgt. Broughton a proper burial. And hes helping Gretchen maneuver the video camera.
He: OK, Ill tell the story.
She: And Ill provide the colorful commentary.
He: So, I get a call in January 2004, from a gentleman named Carl. He tells me hes doing some genealogy research and that one of his ancestors is a Union soldier. I tell him Im really sorry, hes not here; the Union soldiers bodies had been moved to the National Cemetery. I even call over there, but, unfortunately, they have no record of him. Then Carl tells me he has proof of his relative being buried in Oakdale Cemetery, a handwritten postcard with a picture: Sgt. Broughton Grave No. 5, Row No. 8, buried April 10, 1865. So, we fill out the form for a Veterans Monument and I tell Carl Ill call him as soon as it comes in. Carl calls me probably ten times in the next four weeks and finally it arrives. And I assume thats the end of it. Nope.
Carl calls a few days later and says, Id like to do a family-reunion ceremony, bring in ancestors from England, relatives So I get a bagpiper who plays Amazing Grace, the preacher finds a bible from 1865, we bring in the Daughters of the Confederacy
WBM: For a Union soldier?
She: Oh sure. If they can put on a hoop skirt, and go to a funeral, theyll do it! Read more….