While all the lives of the men and women taken in battle will be remembered this Memorial Day weekend, a special ceremony will be held in New Carlisle to honor a Revolutionary War soldier whose gravestone was obliterated through the years.
William Brandenburg of New Carlisle was buried in the New Carlisle Cemetery upon his death around 1834 and over the years, his grave marker was either buried or destroyed by the elements. In an attempt to right a historic wrong, three local historians joined together to see that the stone commemorating Brandenburg’s life is restored.
Dave McWhorter, Hugh Schiller, and Scott Suther united in their quest to see Brandenburg’s tombstone restored, and will conduct a brief ceremony at the New Carlisle Cemetery immediately following the parade on Saturday, officially re-dedicating the marker to the local veteran who died almost 200 years ago.
“It was a team project,” said McWhorter of the efforts to restore Brandenburg’s marker.
He said Schiller did a lot of research on Brandenburg and his family, while Suther acted to find a replacement stone. Suther said he reached out to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and after obtaining signatures from one of Brandenburg’s descendants and City officials, was granted a new stone.
Suther said the City of New Carlisle and City Manager Randy Bridge were instrumental in enacting the process, noting that the city donated the foundation for Brandenburg’s new stone. He thanked city employee Greg Slattery for installing the foundation, as well as re-erecting two more aged tombstones that had fallen down, one of which belonged to Brandenburg’s son Frederick.
McWhorter’s research on Brandenburg indicates that he was born in 1758 in Middlesex Township, New Jersey. He enlisted in several military regiments beginning in 1781, and served “in pursuit of Tories” and acted as a guard to British prisoners in Fredericktown, Maryland. In 1812, he moved to Pennsylvania, and four years later in 1816, he moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, and then to Bethel Township the next year. McWhorter said Brandenburg’s entire family was nearly wiped out in a cholera epidemic soon after moving here, as the area was plagued by the disease twice in the 18th-century.
Members of Brandenburg’s family are expected to travel from numerous states to see the re-dedication ceremony on Saturday, which is also open to the public.
New Carlisle’s annual Memorial Day Parade will begin Saturday, May 28, at the IGA at noon and proceed south to the New Carlisle Cemetery, where a brief ceremony will be held in honor of those who died in service to the nation. He said those interested in walking in the parade should meet at the IGA before 11:30 a.m.