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This afternoon, I found the old news clipping that describes the death of Ward Chapin on 18 Sep 1894 at Fort Brown, Texas. It's pretty graphic, as I have come to expect from older obituaries.

The Sad Death of Private Chapin
Other items

The funeral of Ward Chapin a private of Troop K, 5th Cavalry who was drowned at the post yesterday afternoon took place this morning at 11 o clock a m. He was buried with military honors. The entire garrison attended the funeral. His grave was covered by many and beautiful floral offerings sent by his comrades and friends.

Ward Chapin was born at Olean New York state. He enlisted in the service of the United States at Fort Scott Kansas on Jan 23 1893 and was 22 years of age. The circumstances of his sad death is deeply regretted by his comrades who used every means in their power to save him but were unfortunately unsuccessful. There is every reason to believe that he was seriously injured if not fatally before he disappeared from the surface of the water, as there are the imprints of the horse's hoofs on his chest where his horse must have struck him in his struggle to free himself from the drowning man. One of these imprints is directly over the heart which if not fatal must have rendered him unconscious.

This young man was a faithful soldier and his character and morals wore of the highest standards, an example to his comrades and all who were thrown in contact with him. His memory will be long cherished by his comrades and their deepest sympathy is extended to his bereaved relatives.

As a result of yesterday's sad accident there will be no more swimming of horses in the lagoon excepting under the direct supervision of the troop commanders.

Okay, that tells me he was buried at the fort. So I went looking for that cemetery, and found this instead.

This Military cemetery, once located on the "island" of Ft. Brown, held the remains of the military soldiers stationed at the fort. Their remains were removed and moved to Alexandria, Louisiana and reinterred in the National Cemetery there in 1911. The contractor for this removal was N.E. Rendall. The headstones were not moved with the bodies. Mr. Rendall sold the headstones and some of these headstones are the foundations for some of the buildings in Brownsville. One of these buildings was the Nebraska Apartments that was located between 13th and 14th streets on Jefferson street.
(The link in that article for the cemetery at Pineville is dead.)

So I went looking in Rapides Parish, LA. There is no record of him there, and the VA's Nationwide Gravesite Locator doesn't have him either.

So I wonder - what happened to my second great grand uncle's remains?

Re: Chapin

Date: 2011-02-05 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I always consider all information published about anyone in my family tree. Those include census records, birth/death certificates and indices, cemetery transcriptions and gravestones, obituaries such as this one in historic newspapers, and, as is the case for this particular branch of the family, city directories published during the time in which the family lived in Fort Scott, KS which contained their addresses, family composition and occupations (where relevant).

However, the statement you made online (and about which I have replied to one of your other comments) is contradicted by E C Shephard's birth certificate and census records (which I think we should presume until provided with evidence to the contrary contained statements Essie made to the census enumerator about the birthplace of her children and their father) as well as my correspondence with his grandson.

It might help if you could broaden your view about "your" family. This family had a lot of members in this generation alone, and some of them went on to have families of their own. That makes them part of a family much larger than just either you or I.

Puzzling through through all the details is so much more fun when descendants have a collaborative, rather than combative, spirit.

Take whatever action you like.
Edited Date: 2011-02-05 03:25 pm (UTC)


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Dee Burris Blakley

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