PATRIOT — Cadot Blessing Camp #126 of the Sons of the Union Veterans, recently replaced the illegible headstone of Civil War veteran Wilhelm Rodeman at Bethesda Cemetery.
Rich Rodeman began digging into his family history several years ago, only to find that he has union veteran heritage in his lineage. Rodeman was able to find the grave of his third great-grandfather through the website, findagrave.com.
Wilhem Rodeman was the first in his family to come to America, having joined the Union war effort soon after arriving in Pittsburgh. He immigrated from Hanover Germany in the 1850’s. He was a member of the 74th Pennsylvania Infantry: company F. Towards the end of his military career, Wilhem suffered from Typhoid fever, having been medically discharged from what is now the Gallipolis Developmental Center. After Wilhelm passed away his family moved west to Indiana.
Rich and his wife came from Saint Louis Missouri for the ceremony and to honor their ancestor.
“I began doing ancestry work several years ago and learned that Wilhelm was the first in my family to come to America, but I didn’t know where his grave was,” Rich explained. “I was lucky to find it on find-a-grave.”
It turns out that he has another descendant buried in the same cemetery, although his gravestone is still in excellent shape.
The headstone ceremony was put on by the the Sons of Union Veterans, who regularly replace damaged or illegible headstones of Union Veterans around Gallia County. The new stone was provided by the federal government, which provides headstones in the case of illegible gravemarkers.
The old stone was pulled Friday afternoon with Rich and his wife Mary Ann helping out while the official ceremony was held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Bethesda Cemetery with more of the Rodeman family coming from central Indiana.
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