A new Civil War Battle in Southern Illinois - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

A new Civil War Battle in Southern Illinois

Now, Mike Jones, a Southern Illinois historian and Director of the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, is in a Civil War battle of his own. Now, Mike Jones, a Southern Illinois historian and Director of the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, is in a Civil War battle of his own.
Preserving Civil War history is something that Jones began working on decades ago; and now his efforts are focused on preserving the headstones of the Civil War Soldiers buried in the Murphysboro City Cemetery. Preserving Civil War history is something that Jones began working on decades ago; and now his efforts are focused on preserving the headstones of the Civil War Soldiers buried in the Murphysboro City Cemetery.
Now Jones is worried that the aging marble grave site markers will be lost, and along with them a piece of our American history. Now Jones is worried that the aging marble grave site markers will be lost, and along with them a piece of our American history.
MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) -

On July 2, 1863 men from the North and South were fighting in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Now, Mike Jones, a Southern Illinois historian and Director of the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, is in a Civil War battle of his own.

Preserving Civil War history is something that Jones began working on decades ago; and now his efforts are focused on preserving the headstones of the Civil War Soldiers buried in the Murphysboro City Cemetery.

Back in 1994 he and a group of his 6th grade students at the time researched the history of several African-American Civil War Soldiers from Murphysboro and were successful in getting them all new headstones.

"It was very easy. We went to the Department of Veterans Affairs, filled out the forms," said Jones. "And the kids who wrote the biographies of each of the men we're the ones who ordered the new markers for those men."

But, things have changed since then, and now the Department of Veterans Affairs have changed the requirements for replacing Veterans headstones.

"Basically unless I'm next of kin or authorized by the next of kin, I can't order a replacement stone for all these broken stones for these Veterans," he said. "It makes it almost impossible to get Veterans replacement headstones."

Now Jones is worried that the aging marble grave site markers will be lost, and along with them a piece of our American history.

"I will have to go back anywhere from 80 to 120 years and work forward. And see if I can find next of kin of these Veterans who have died. It's very labor intensive work. And some of these men may not have any descendents at all," Jones said.

But, Jones points out that the men have already been recognized as Veterans when they were originally buried. There was a marker placed there by the federal government.

"There was a marker placed there originally by the federal government," he said. "And I thought when I found the marker order from 1890, that I would just hand that in and say he needs a new marker. And that didn't work."

"I've read enough letters and pension papers to know these men deserve this honor, they're Veterans," said Jones. "I don't care if they've been dead 150 years, they're still Veterans and they fought for the country."

If you have any information about the families of the Civil War Soldiers from Murphysboro, please contact the General John A. Logan Museum at 618-684-3455.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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