A Civil War veteran whose ashes sat for decades forgotten in storage will likely be the final soldier to be buried from that war. Peter Jones Knapp, who fought for the Union and survived the Andersonville prison camp in Georgia, was being laid to rest today in Oregon's Willamette National Cemetery. Knapp will receive full military honors from the National Guard on the anniversary of his 1924 death. The service also falls on the 151st anniversary of the Confederate victory at Fort Sumter, which ignited the Civil War.
The service comes after relatives began searching the family tree. One came across Knapp's name in a newspaper article and tried to find out where he was buried. Turns out, his ashes had been sitting on a shelf in a crematorium for decades, unclaimed. "It has definitely become a bigger thing than we could have ever imagined," said Ruth Knapp-Vallejos of Alameda, Calif. "Usually our family funerals are very small affairs."