Civil War soldier's jawbone returned
By The Associated Press - 4/10/98
HAGERSTOWN - The jawbone of a Confederate soldier will be buried here, more than 130 years after a Union soldier from Michigan apparently took it from a Maryland battlefield as a war memento. Charles Goolsby, commander of the Maryland Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said he will be proud to honor the remains at Washington Cemetery, the final resting place for Confederate soldiers who fought in the battles of Antietam and South Mountain. ``We'll make plans to have a proper burial. We consider it an honor to be able to do this,'' he said. For the past 30 years, the jawbone was stored in a cardboard box at the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society. Charles H. Martinez found the bone after he became museum administrator in 1990 and thought the remains should receive a proper burial. ``The gentleman fought for what he believes in and he needs to be buried, not stuck on a shelf in a museum,'' Martinez said. A burial date has not been set. Local lore says that former Pontiac mayor David S. Howard, a corporal in the 2nd Michigan Infantry, took the souvenir from South Mountain after the Sept. 14, 1862, battle. But Martinez said Howard was injured and someone had probably brought it to him as a war relic, not an unusual practice in those days. This isn't the first time in recent years that Washington Cemetery has added to the ranks of the unknown Confederate soldiers there. In 1992, two Confederate soldiers were reburied there after their bones were unearthed at the site of the Cornfield Battle at Antietam.