Received: from ( [])
        by (8.9.3/8.9.3) with ESMTP id AAA91173
        for <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; Mon, 6 Dec 1999 00:52:28 -0500 (EST)
Received: from sharp-points ([]) by
           (InterMail v03.02.07.07 118-134) with SMTP
           id <19991206055201.TEBV959@sharp-points> for <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>;
           Mon, 6 Dec 1999 05:52:01 +0000
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 1999 23:51:27 -0600
Subject: Soldier at Little Big Horn gets new tombstone 122 years after
   his death
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii",local/37740eaa.c05,.html
Soldier at Little Big Horn gets new tombstone 122 years after his death

By JAMES HART - The Kansas City Star
Date: 12/05/99 22:15

The most important day of Capt. George W. Yates' life was his last day. 

On June 25, 1876, he was one man among five companies that died with George
Custer near a river in southeast Montana -- the Battle of Little Big Horn,
Custer's Last Stand. 

For 122 years, Yates has been buried at Fort Leavenworth Military Cemetery,
but his tombstone failed to honor his service at Little Big Horn,
Gettysburg and other historic battles. 

On Sunday, historians and military personnel dedicated a new tombstone, one
with the special shield emblem that notes Yates' service during the Civil
War and the Indian Wars. 

"You just want to make sure they get credit for everything they do," said
Col. Clay Edwards, the president of the Fort Leavenworth Historical Society. 

About 20 persons stood in the snow around Yates' grave. A few men wore
Union blues, complete with black boots and spurs. A bugler played taps. 

Sgt. 1st Class John W. Wilson of Olathe caught the oversight in 1998 when
he was giving cemetery tours. Wilson, a National Guard recruiter, studies
Custer history. 

Last summer, Wilson contacted cemetery officials, who quickly agreed to fix
the oversight. 

Yates was 33 when he died, a captain with the 7th Cavalry. He spent almost
half his life in uniform after enlisting at 18. 

He fought at the First Battle of Bull Run and was wounded at
Fredericksburg. He served with Custer during the Civil War, and their wives
were friends. 

Later, Yates worked for Custer in the 7th Cavalry. 

Few details survived Little Big Horn, but one account suggests Yates was
one of the last commanding officers to die. 

"Nobody knows what happened," said Vincent Heier, a St. Louis priest and
Custer historian. 

Yates was buried at the battlefield a few days after he died. In 1877, he
was reinterred at Fort Leavenworth. 

Yates began life as nobody special but earned a spot in history by
faithfully doing his duty, Edwards said. He left military service twice but
came back both times. 

The Sunday ceremony and tombstone replacement are unusual cases, said Jeff
Barnes, a cemetery director for the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine 
of international copyright law.
           Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)

Reply via email to