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Keokuk National Cemetery
Keokuk, Iowa
     Every state has them, with many counties having at least one located inside their boundaries. It is the national cemetery. Dedicated to those who have honorably served our country. Spouses and dependents can also be buried here under certain requirements. It is a way to retain the dedication and bonds of those that helped to keep our country strong and safe. To honor those that were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation, and to those that did.
     Il-Mo Entity Trackers had the pleasure of visiting one such cemetery in Keokuk, Iowa. This cemetery started as a donation, from the city, of a plot of ground that was part of Oakland Cemetery. It was here that the soldiers who died in the 5 military hospitals were buried. When additional cemeteries in North Dakota and Iowa were abandoned, the interred soldiers were moved to this cemetery. The cemetery now encompasses 22 acres, and is the final resting place for more than 5000 souls. It was listed on the National Register Of Historic Places in 1997.
     The first thing you notice when you enter these cemeteries is the precision involved in placing the tombstones. Each is aligned, maintained, erect, and honored. And you can sense the serenity that is inside the wire fence, as if the soldiers, sailors, airmen, spouses know that there will be no further call to duty, and their rest is not disturbed. The stone above, taken against the setting sun, seems fitting. You can't make out features, or really even style. This is the marker for the Unknown Dead, 1861-1865. There were more than 600 Union Soldiers, and 8 Confederate Soldiers (who died as prisoners of war) were buried in this cemetery at the end of the war. Total accounts of the "Unknown Soldiers" is listed as 48. This monument is dedicated to the unknown soldiers, who's families never learned of their loved ones outcome or final resting place. 
     Please follow us as we displace some of the headstones we found, and some of the history of each. And the next time you see a sign for a National Cemetery, be sure to take the time to stop, look, read the stones, and thank each of them for their service to our country. 
To see eligibility requirements:   National Cemetery Guidelines 
Each row aligns perfectly with the row both directly across
or directly beside.
Another view of the lines of stones.
We couldn't find much on Thomas Lurch.
Died September 23, 1861.
A member of the US Army.
Mathias "Matthew" Pierce
Private in the 17th Iowa Volunteers, Company F
Died of disease May 4, 1862. He was 40 years old.
William R. Triggs
Wagoneer for CO G, 8th Ammo Train, US Army, WWII
Enlisted June 5, 1918.
Died December 17, 1937
Hiram Huggins
Private with CO F, 16th Wisconsin Infantry
Enlisted December 1, 1861
Wounded Battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862
Died from his wounds April 29, 1862.
Michael Everett Stevenson
Ships Serviceman 2nd Class, US Navy
Born July 26, 1952
Enlisted August 27, 1967
Died July 3, 1976
Scott Johnson
Private in the 804 Pioneer Infantry, "Buffalo Soldiers" World War i
Born in Shelbina, Missouri March 25, 1893
Enlisted July 15, 1918
Died April 24, 1937
Nicholas B. Caldwell
Enlisted at the age of 35 on October 28, 1861
CO F 72nd Ohio Infantry
Promoted to Full Drum Major
Died April 27, 1862, leaving a wife Lucinda
Floyd E. Wyrick
Born December 10, 1929
Enlisted December 9, 1944, released July 17, 1946
Enlisted in the US Navy January 19, 1948
Released September 29, 1960
Died January 9, 1974
Lafayette Patrick
Private, promoted to Sergeant  CO I, 33rd Missouri Infantry
Enlisted 1862, at the age of 38
Died August 22, 1896
Horace Taylor
Enlisted March 7, 1861  at the age of 19
Corporal for CO I, 24th New York Infantry
Captured August 30, 1862, paroled
Released from Service  May 29, 1863
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