Monday, May 13, 2013

100 Years After Death, Two Civil War Veterans Are Finally Laid to Rest

It doesn't matter if your unclaimed remains collect dust in a funeral home for decades. If you're a veteran, the Missing in America Project will find you. 

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Unseen, drum taps start their slow, strict cadence, announcing the sound of regimented footsteps and shouted marching orders.

The sky is slate, marking no shadows for the casket that leads the full-honors funeral procession. An escort platoon a few dozen deep and a horse-drawn caisson around the corner, coming to a halt in front of five unadorned pedestals on a damp Thursday morning at Arlington National Cemetery. The band begins its dirge, and with it, a funeral 100 years in the making.

A century ago, two brothers died within four years of one another. The older, Zuinglius McCormack, died in 1912; the younger, Lycurgus McCormack, in 1908. They were both veterans of the Civil War, fighting with infantry from Indiana. Zuinglius, a lawyer, fought with the 132nd Infantry Regiment and in the Battle of Jonesboro, which led to the Union's occupation of Atlanta. Lycurgus was also a lawyer, but he turned to a career printing the local newspaper after the war. He was one of 65,000 minutemen who mustered after rumors circulated that the Confederates were sending 6,000 cavalry units across the Ohio River.

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