One of my ongoing projects is the Kansas Civil War Graves Project is a nonprofit startup group whose mission is ultimately to honor military veterans of the American Civil War whose final resting place is in the state of Kansas.
This is accomplished by volunteers in various parts of the state who research, document and report information to the project as a whole to be compiled into a database available to the general public.
Each county in Kansas is represented by one or more contributors who are responsible for the gathering of information of the cemeteries and Civil War veterans buried within those cemeteries. That information will them be passed on to the project coordinators for compiling and accuracy checking, and then published on the projects website.
Another facet of the project is to do the following:
1.Compile veterans affiliation (USA or CSA), his regiment, company and state, along with brief history of their regiment and engagements they were involved in.
2.Determine if veteran, widow or next of kin (NOK) applied for veterans pension. And if so attempt to compile those records.
3.Headstone disposition. If veteran has a headstone and ascertain the disposition of the headstone and if it is eligible for replacement or can be repaired.
4.If no headstone is present, then to compile all necessary documentation in order to obtain a headstone from the Veterans Administration (VA).
5.Work with local veterans and military heritage groups (such as the Sons of Union Veterans and the Sons of Confederate Veterans) to provide ceremony and dedication of headstones for the veteran.
6.Ascertain if any NOK of the veteran are living.
No information or any other type of detail will be posted on the Civil War veterans NOK. The project will focus solely on the veteran and their last resting place. NOK research is in order to follow the processes set forth by the VA.
The project will also work in close collaboration with cemetery officials, veteran organizations, and will comply with any applicable state and federal laws.
Needless to say, this is a huge undertaking and cannot succeed without the help of volunteers and donations. Without both failure is assured. However, if successful, it is possible that this same type of endeavor could take place in other states.
The American soldier is a precious commodity and one that should never, ever, be taken for granted. By gathering this information, not only will we be able to provide a detailed record for posterity, but we will be honoring these soldiers, who at a critical crossroad in America, put their honor, faith and all on the line to serve their country.
We hope you will partner with us in this noble cause for the Civil War soldiers that are resting in peace here in Kansas.