The first one that I was able to find information on was James S. Montgomery. James signed up with the 2nd California Cavalry. Before the war he was engaged to a woman, who said that she would wait for him. While he was in service he was "dangerously" wounded by a gunshot wound to the lung and was discharged because of it.
One of the newest veterans is going to be a challenge. John Hardison was a gentleman of African descent who lived primarily in Topeka, but moved to Carbondale in the mid-1890s. He had served with Co. I of the 17th United States Colored Troops as an Orderly Sergeant. He became paralyzed in later life and the $12 pension he was receiving was not cutting it. If you were receiving a pension, you could not be placed in the county poor farm, and the city of Carbondale would not offer him assistance, so he was on his own. He died in a house fire in 1904 before anyone could get to it. There is no record of his burial in Carbondale, and none that I have found yet in Topeka. The search continues!
|1885 Osage County Chronicle|
Another one of my guys is William "Pitt Green" Gaines who is also of African descent. His double name confuses me, but it has me wondering if it doesn't have to do with his previous life in slavery (I would definitely appreciate any thoughts on this). Pitt served with the 83rd USCT. He was a well known penny pincher, in fact, the paper did a whole article on the time he spent a nickel. The whole community of Burlingame was dying to know what he spent it on! At the end of his obituary even, it said that he was supposed to have hidden a great deal of money in his house and the people of the community were going to hunt for it.
There are more than 20 veterans in Osage County without stones. I am hoping I can bring them back from their forgotten status and share their wonderful stories!