Published in The Carroll County Times, Westminster, Maryland on 20 May 2007 and copied here, in part, with any errors:
With Memorial Day almost here, it seems fitting to share the stories of five Civil War veterans buried side by side in Mary Shellman's lot at Westminster Cemetery. Mary, who grew up during the war and began Westminster's Memorial Day tradition in 1868, puchased the lot in the late 19th century as a way "to keep soldiers from pauper burials."
Service in the Union cause was almost the only thing the five men had in common. Some died young, some as old men. Two were born in the U.S., three foreign-born. Some were amputees, others wounded in mind rather then body. Mary wrote of them in 1936, "They were all good brave soldiers but their other records were not much."
Lt. Orville T. Andrews died in 1885 aged about 42. When the Civil War broke out, Andrews was in his late teens. Though living in Tennessee, he joined an Illinois infantry regiment and before he turned twenty he last a leg at the Battle of Shiloh. The army promoted him to 2nd lieutenant and discharged him. How he ended up in Westminster is unknown, but he appeared in the 1880 census as an unemployed bookkeeper. Mary Shellman wrote a friend, "You surely remember Capt. Anders (sic) with his artificial leg which he used some times to pound against the wall of the Main Court (Hotel). People passing would say, 'Poor old Cap was on a spree last night.'" In spite of Mary's recollection, his obituary says, "He was a man of many good qualities and above the average in intelligence. His remains were buried in Westminster Cemetery on Monday with military honors by Burns (G.A.R.) Post of this city."
General William T. Sherman was supposed to have said, "War is hell." Surely these five soldiers knew what he meant. Heroes they were not, but their stories are probably very typical of many other veterans remembered on Memorial Day.
The other veterans mentioned are: Robert Clark, William Frazier, Malachi Buckley and Ernest Kohler.
Created by: Lorraine
Record added: Jan 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33086574
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