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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

They Weren't All Heroes

An unknown Confederate soldier buried on the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia is no longer unknown, thanks to the efforts of his great-grandson.

While driving past the cemetery as a boy, Raymond "Buck" Jones was told by his father that the nameless grave belonged to his great-grandfather, Charles William Jones. But it wasn't until two years ago that Buck—now 78—approached the Marines about securing a proper stone. And only today will his genealogical research really pay off, with an official ceremony at the freshly marked gravesite.

Which is not to say that all the news is good.

From the records, this is what is known about Charles W. Jones: He spent his entire life in Prince William County, leaving for war at age 24 and returning home six years later. In between, he was listed as a "rebel deserter" and captured near Hanover. He was court-martialed about two years later and confined for nine months.

Jones said others in his family like to believe that their great-grandfather was a war hero, but the evidence says otherwise. It's possible that he even robbed a bank in his time, he theorized. "When they tore down his old house, there was Confederate money in the walls," Jones said. [Link]

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