On May 16, 58 soldiers will be reburied at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery. They served in the U.S. Army in Arizona from 1862 to 1881.
The soldiers will be buried in a 19th Century-style military cemetery. The plot was built especially for the remains of these soldiers that were found in Tucson. It is surrounded by a stone and iron wall similar to Fort Huachuca’s cemetery.
Event: Reburial of Historic Soldiers
When: 10 a.m., Saturday, May 16, 2009
Where: Southern Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, 1300 Buffalo Soldier Trail, Sierra Vista
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is providing period headstones for the troopers, and cemetery officials plan to erect a monument describing the soldiers’ lives during the Indian Wars. The troopers will be laid to rest with full military honors a stone’s throw away from the oldest operating Army post in Arizona.
The soldiers’ remains were found a couple of years ago in Tucson during an excavation. Originally, the soldiers were buried in a military cemetery that served Fort Lowell in Tucson during the Civil and Indian Wars.
Research showed that many of the soldiers were part of the California Column. This was a 2,300-man brigade that marched into the territory from California in the spring of 1862. Their mission was to confront and drive out Confederate troops who controlled the southern part of what is now Arizona and New Mexico. Troops from the California Column occupied Tucson on 20 May 1862. Various California units were stationed there until April 1866. Other remains represent the 1st, 3rd and 6th U.S. Cavalry regiments, as well as the 8th, 21st and 32nd U.S. Infantry who served at Fort Lowell during the late 1860s to the 1880s.Two of the soldiers were U.S. Army Indian Scouts, and one was a “Buffalo Soldier.”
Among the remains are:
- Sergeant John C. McQuade, Company B, 2nd California Cavalry, who enlisted in the volunteers in San Francisco on September 14, 1861. He died in Tucson on July 12, 1862.
- Private Peter Bus, Company K, 21st U.S. Infantry, who was a 20-25 year old sailor from Delfshaven, Holland. He enlisted in the Army in San Francisco on March 7, 1871 and died in Tucson of an accidental gunshot wound to the right arm on February 19, 1872.
- Corporal John English, Company A, 32nd U.S. Infantry, who was a shoemaker from Ireland, aged 20-25. He enlisted in Boston on July 16, 1865 and died on February 6, 1867.