Civil War Grave Restoration

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 Civil War Grave Restoration

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PostSubject: Civil War Grave Restoration   11/26/2009, 9:45 am

Indiana History Buff Restores Civil War Grave - Chicago Tribune

ALBANY, Ind. - A former auto worker and history buff is keeping a Civil War soldier's memory alive by restoring the fallen soldier's marble gravestone.

Doug Cross of Albany came across Thomas Kent's grave last September while looking for a site where Civil War soldiers had used limestone slabs to cross the Mississinewa River.

He spotted Kent's gravestone in a clearing in the old Steubenville Cemetery and quickly suspected it belonged to a soldier.

"It was pitch black," he said. "It looked like a soldier monument by the way it was shaped, and I could read the word 'Fell' on there."

The gravestone was filthy and nearly indecipherable, but Cross took pictures and used a computer to enhance them. He and his 10-year-old daughter, Kelli, then used water and a soft scrub brush and non-damaging chemicals to make the stone readable again.

"It was full of sediment, kind of like a sandy substance, and we picked that out as good as we could," Cross said.

Now its words are clear: "Fell, Dec. 31, 1862 at the Battle of Stone River contending for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Aged 22 Ys, 1 Mo and 22 Ds."

Kent served in Company E, 36th Regiment, of the Indiana Volunteers. The Battle of Stone River occurred in Murfreesboro, Tenn., between Dec. 31, 1862, and Jan. 2, 1863.

Cross said his research shows Kent suffered a musket shot to the left shoulder and a bayonet wound and was one of 23,515 casualties.

Now that Kent's gravestone is legible, Cross hopes the young soldier's memory will live on.
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