- Associated Press - Monday, December 21, 2015

CARMEN, Okla. (AP) - More than 100 years later, a Civil War veteran is being recognized for his service.

Private Thomas Jefferson Hutchins received a Grand Army of the Republic marker near his grave in the Carmen cemetery.

The Oklahoma Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War placed the marker at the request of Hutchins’ great-great-granddaughter, Lue Ann Root.

The Enid News & Eagle (http://bit.ly/1JamO4w ) reports that Hutchins enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army in 1862 in Arkansas. He was 39 years old.

He served in the Co. H, 1st Regiment of Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers. Later that year, he was captured and wounded. He was discharged in 1863 at Fayetteville, Arkansas.

He passed away in Carmen on May 13, 1910. He had participated in the Oklahoma land run.

Hutchins’ family purchased a headstone for him after he passed, but it was not the Civil War headstone available to veterans.

The original headstone of Thomas Jefferson Hutchins that was ordered by the government was found on a Ringwood farm several years ago by Rody Bymaster and Jay Leierer.

The farm had passed between Bymaster and Leierer’s families.

“My great-grandmother did the land run, and on the farm were these two headstones,” Bymaster told the Enid News and Eagle in August. “My grandfather said they fell off of a cart. Then Jay’s dad bought the farm.”

Leierer and Bymaster began hunting for the headstone owners or family members. It was confirmed Root was a living relative of Hutchins.

“Thomas’ wife and children started this journey when they ordered the military stone,” Root said. “Now, more than 100 years later, Thomas will finally receive his military stone and with military rites.”

Saturday’s marker placement included firing a three-round salute, playing of taps and setting of the flag on the marker.

“When I think of the number of people it has taken to put this together, I am amazed and humbled,” Root said. “Our family would like to thank Jay Leierer and Rod Bymaster for searching until they found us; Pellow Monument for setting the stone; and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War for finishing the journey for my great-great-grandfather with such a memorable ceremony.”

Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War Commander Will Andrews said placing vet flag markers next to headstones and dedication services is one of the central missions of the SUVCW.

“We are humbled and honored to perform such services,” Andrews said. “Once we confirmed Mrs. Root’s lineage, we were fortunate to move forward with the service.”

Root said she wishes her mother, Lula Parker Kingcade, was present for the ceremony. Kingcade passed away eight years ago.

“She guided my genealogical research through the family and we did have fun,” Root said. “The ceremony would make mother so very happy and proud.”

Hutchins headstone was just one of two found on the farm in Ringwood.

Wallace Ware Thornberry’s headstone also was found by Hutchins.

Thornberry’s obituary was published in The Cleo Chieftain in 1909. Thornberry died in Crowell in 1909 and he is buried in the Cheyenne Cemetery in Major County.

The search for his living descendants is ongoing.

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Information from: Enid News & Eagle, http://www.enidnews.com

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