May 12, 2008
Family honors Civil War veteran
Ceremony dedicates gravestone for soldier in Cincy Cemetery
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Lester “Pat” Carrier of Norwich and Carol Thompson of Vermont are grandchildren of Civil War veteran Silas Carrier who was honored during a grave marker dedication and memorial service Saturday at Cincinnatus Cemetery.
CINCINNATUS — Civil War soldier Silas Carrier never had a tombstone at his gravesite in the Cincinnatus Cemetery.
Carrier died Jan. 25, 1914, at the age of 72. The Auburn native had enlisted in Company L, 9th New York Heavy Artillery, in December 1863.
“I always felt bad. There was never any stone on that marker,” said Carol Thompson, Carrier’s granddaughter.
Carrier’s relatives and others gathered at the cemetery Saturday morning for a ceremony to dedicate a gravestone for him given by the federal government.
Thompson, 90, of Vermont, belongs to the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping alive the memory, deeds and loyalty of ancestors who fought in the Civil War.
“(Carrier) never had a headstone, and the government will give these to us if we can prove honorable service,” said Dorothy Prentice, another member of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Prentice added that Thompson requested the stone, knew where the grave plot was located and researched her grandfather.
“My sister is the one that got this started,” said Lester “Pat” Carrier, a grandson of Silas Carrier and Thompson’s brother. “I guess she just wanted to know what some of the family had done and what had become of them.”
Lester Carrier, 89, of Norwich and Thompson admitted they never knew anything about their grandfather.
But through research, Thompson discovered that after enlisting in the Army, Silas Carrier was “mustered out” as a private on Jan. 4, 1864.
That spring was spent in garrison duty around Washington, D.C., in several different forts, including forts Mansfield, Bayard, Gaines and Foote.
Carrier’s regiment saw action in the Rapidan Campaign and many battles leading up to the Siege of Petersburg in mid-June 1864.
On July 8, 1864, Silas Carrier was reported as being hospitalized until October for unknown reasons. When he was released, he returned to his regiment in Kernstown, Va.
His regiment continued active service in the field and was present for the Appomattox Campaign, which culminated in Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House in Virginia on April 9, 1865.
On June 27, 1865, Silas Carrier and the rest of the 9th New York Artillery were consolidated into four companies and transferred into the 2nd New York Artillery.
After the war, Carrier returned to his family in Cayuga County. But in 1869, he and his young family moved to Michigan, where he successfully applied for a veterans pension in 1888.
While visiting his daughter’s family in New York, Carrier died on Jan. 26, 1914. His wife, Mary A. Burwell, whom he married in August of 1863, died months later and was buried in Michigan.
Approximately 15 descendants, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, gathered to honor the man they never knew at Saturday’s dedication ceremony.
They covered his new and first headstone with a Civil War jacket, Carrier’s original musket, which has never been cleaned, wreaths flowers and an American flag.
“I think it’s nice they could get him in the same cemetery as the rest of the family,” Lester Carrier said. “I thought they did a really nice job.”
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