CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — A Civil War veteran whose remains went unclaimed for more than a century will be buried next month with his family in southwest Missouri.
Major Raphael Guido Rombauer, who was on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s staff for a time, was cremated after his 1912 death in Kirksville. For more than a century, the former Union soldier and Carthage businessman’s ashes had remained on a shelf at the Valhalla Funeral Chapel, Cemetery and Crematory in St. Louis, The Carthage Press reported.
That all changed when the Missing in America project, which arranges proper burials for veterans, came across the remains. The group was planning to bury them with more than 20 other veterans last fall in a ceremony at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, but the late amateur historian Bill Boggess found Elizabeth Young, a relative of Rombauer, and she claimed the remains.
Park Cemetery manager Frank Stine said Rombauer will be buried April 11 in one of the oldest sections of the graveyard in a service that will include volunteers wearing Civil War-era uniforms.
“With the great granddaughter’s help we were able to get all this information, we were able to get his veterans marker and we’ll get to lay him next to his first wife, which is traditional,” Stine said. “And apparently they had set it up that way because there is a space right next to her for a traditional burial.”
Jeff Patrick, librarian with the Wilson’s Creek Battlefield National Historic Site, said records show that Rombauer enlisted in 1861 with the First Missouri Infantry. Rombauer left the service when his initial 90-day enlistment expired in late 1861, but he reenlisted and served with the Illinois Light Artillery. Rombauer eventually was promoted to major and served on Grant’s staff.
After the war, Rombauer lived and built businesses in Carthage from 1874 to 1897. When his wife died in 1899, her body was returned to Carthage for burial with their two children.
Young, who lives in the St. Louis area, praised Boggess, saying it was important to him that her relative be buried with his wife and children. “It was an honorable mission he was on,” she said, “and we’re grateful for it.”
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