One of the sweetest stories I have found, concerns the burial of a Union veteran handled by the Henry W. Allen Camp of United Confederate Veterans.
Fifteen or so years ago, a lady contacted me for information on a Union soldier that had been buried in the Old Monroe City Cemetery. She was indexing the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and had found the obituary of George Funk. She was kind enough to fax me a copy of the article. George served the Union army in a regiment out of Ohio during the Civil War. In his old age, he came to visit his niece in Monroe and it was here that he died and was buried. The account of his burial by the local Confederate Veterans camp is an amazing story of cooperation and respect between former enemies.
Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, AR, May 13, 1897
HIS LAST REQUEST.
He Wanted to be Buried by the Side of His Comrades.
Special to The Gazette.
Monroe, La., May 12. – There was a burial in the Monroe cemetery this evening something out of the ordinary course of interments there. About three months ago George Funk, came to Monroe from Warren, Ark., to see his niece, who is the wife of Mr. Parker, living at the corner of Fifth and Olive. During the war, Funk, who was a native of Pennsylvania, was a soldier in an Ohio regiment serving throughout the conflict. When he came to Monroe he was not in good health and, feeling that he was not long for this world, he requested that if he died here he be buried by Henry W. Allen Camp No. 182, United Confederate Veterans. Day before yesterday when he saw that the end was approaching he again made the request. Funk died last night and this morning the wish expressed by him was conveyed to members of the camp. Adjutant W.A. O’Kelly at once put himself in communication with the veterans and all of them signified their intention of being present at the funeral, which took place at 4 o’clock. The body was buried by the camp, the services being held by the chaplain, Rev. Evans. There are fifteen ex-federal soldiers interred in the Monroe cemetery and the body of Funk was placed with them.
Unfortunately, no headstone exists for George Funk. I have found some descriptions that say he was buried, “…in the shadow of the Confederate memorial”, so he is on that side of the cemetery. His niece died sometime before 1900, but no headstone was located for her either. There is another mystery here to ponder. Who are the fifteen other Union veterans buried in the cemetery? Where are their graves?