|New stones mark the graves of John Maricle, Henry Evans, and William Bradley in the Boone Cemetery. The haversack and canteen on Evans' grave were placed by the George Stoneman Camp #6 of the Sons of Union Veterans as part of a memorial service written in 1917 for the Grand Army of the Republic.|
BOONE, N.C.Three blue-eyed Yankees who died in Boone during the final days of the Civil War were honored Sunday, April 8, when new military gravestones were unveiled in the cemetery where they were buried 153 years ago.
Historian Eric Plaag said the memorial ceremony was "an occasion to do right by these three men, by whom history and local sentiment have often not done right."
Two of the Union soldiers were from North Carolina and the third was from Kentucky. They died of sickness while serving with the 2nd North Carolina Mounted Infantry, a Union regiment which occupied Boone in April 1865 in the days after Stoneman's Raid.
Many Southerners felt betrayed by such "Home Yankees" and never forgave them for the hardships their families suffered during and after the war. The three were buried in a segregated section of the Boone cemetery, and over the years their original gravestones have been vandalized and stolen.
These veterans deserved better. They were loyal to their country, had no stake in slavery or secession, and were not involved in the raid of Boone on March 28, 1865, when Stoneman's troops killed three local men, injured six others, and captured 68.
The three Union soldiers are buried less than 50 yards from Jacob Mast Councill, whose father Benjamin Councill owned the land that became the town cemetery. Dr. Plaag explained the significance: "In late March 1865, Mr. Councill hauled up this hill the coffin containing the body of his son, Jacob Mast Councill, who had been murdered in cold blood by Union occupiers. Two weeks later, Mr. Councill consented to his land being used for the burial of three other men, this time from the same army that had killed his son. May we all be accorded such respect."