Lebanon project aims to honor city’s Civil War veterans
By MEGHAN PIERCE Union Leader Correspondent
LEBANON — A project headed up by resident Fran Hanchett is aimed at ensuring the city’s 96 Civil War veterans are not forgotten.
As a member of the Memorial Building Committee and secretary of the Lebanon Historical Society, Hanchett discovered in 2009 that there were more Civil War veterans buried in the city cemeteries than were known about.
After years of research she discovered more than 70 previously unknown Civil War veterans were buried in the city, including five who had no gravestones.
The newly discovered veterans were honored at the city’s Memorial Day observance this year and about two months ago Hanchett began fundraising to purchase five gravestones for the unmarked graves.
“I originally started out with five Civil War soldiers that are buried in Lebanon that have absolutely no gravestones whatsoever,” Hanchett said Sunday.
The “Adopt a Civil War Solider” fundraiser was so successful she was encouraged to keep fundraising to ensure all 96 veterans’ gravesites acknowledge their service with federal Civil War markers.
“They do have stones, but they don’t have anything that would indicate that they were in the Civil War. I am just trying to get the funds to get this done. Every veteran is important and the Civil War was such a horrible thing I do think they should all be recognized,” Hanchett said.The markers cost about $300 each, so the project is expected to cost $26,000 to $28,000, Hanchett said.
City businesses and organizations have already sponsored 12 markers so far, Hanchett said.
“Whatever we get collected this winter, in the spring when the stones are all set there will be a ceremony dedicating the stones that we have placed so far,” she said. “I believe that if someone was in service, in the military, I think they ought to be recognized for it.”