Dedication ceremony held for Civil War Veteran

| May 21, 2018

Marlene Carson and Nancy Mitchem, great-great-granddaughters of Pvt. John Horn, are pictured removing the rug that covered his headstone at the beginning of a dedication ceremony on Saturday, May 19 at Bakersville Cemetery. Jen Jones | Beacon

COSHOCTON – It was easy to see the excitement in cousins Nancy Mitchem and Marlene Carson before the start of the dedication ceremony for the headstone of their great-great-grandfather, Pvt. John Horn. “It took almost five months to get all of the information we needed to have the proper headstone for him,” said Mitchem.

They and other family members shared old photos and traded the information they had learned about their roots before the start of the ceremony. “I’ve become fascinated by genealogy,” said Carson. “We spent a lot of time in the local history room at the Coshocton Public Library. They are fantastic there and it was a very interesting search,” said Mitchem.

John Horn was in Indiana taking care of an ill family member when the call for soldiers came. He joined in 1862 and fought in some of the biggest battles of the war. At one point, he became a prisoner of war and was sent to Libby Prison in Richmond. He was traded in a prisoner exchange and went back to fighting. He was with Sherman when Atlanta fell.

Private Horn fought throughout the entire war and was never injured by enemy fire. He came home with sore eyes and a sprained hip. He later died of dropsy which is congestive heart failure. He was buried in Bakersville Cemetery with a field headstone. This stone was lost and until Mitchem and Carson found the information they needed to obtain a veteran’s headstone for him, his grave was unmarked.

The dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, May 19 at the cemetery. A large crowd gathered to honor the Civil War veteran. Larry Stahl welcomed the crowd by saying, “Welcome and thanks for coming. It’s great to see so many of you!” Stahl was dressed in a traditional Civil War uniform. Jim Barstow, of the Coshocton County Veteran’s Council, said a few words about Horn. “When the call of his country came, he answered that call.”

Steve Ball and his wife, Lisa, sang “Battle Cry of Freedom” which was popular in September 1862, when Horn joined the Army. They also sang “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” which was written in 1863 after the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg when most believed the war would be over soon. For their final song, they invited the crowd to sing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” with them. Stahl accompanied the couple playing his fiddle.

Two rifle corps, a Civil War corps and Newcomerstown corps, presented rifle salutes. After the rifles, a lone bugler played “Taps.” The American flag was folded and Barstow presented it to Carson and Mitchem from a very grateful country.

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