September 22, 2017

After a century, Civil War veterans receive grave markers

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ARENAC TWP. — Nearly a century after they died, Civil War veterans Henry Serens and John Caton received grave markers along with a full ceremony from the local VFW, American Legion and the Sons of Union Veterans May 18.

The two men were buried in Arenac Cemetery, but neither grave was marked save for township records. Brenda Matt, a member of the Arenac County Historical Society who has placed flags at veteran graves for several years, sought grave markers through the Veterans Administration, which promises a free marker for any veteran who still has a living relative or descendent to sign for it.

Serens’ great-great-grandson, Mike Unger of Standish, brought Serens’ original Civil War rifle and powderhorn to set at the gravesite for the ceremony, while the Sons of Union Veterans brought along a canteen and supply bag befitting that era.

Charity Shaffer, Caton’s great-great-granddaughter, came to the ceremony with her family from Custer. She told the Independent in April she was excited to finally find her ancestor, whose resting place had eluded her for 20 years before she was contacted by Matt.

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