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Civil War veterans get headstones

On Saturday, May 28, services were conducted by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to dedicate military headstones for two local men who served in the Civil War.

The headstone of Private J. Wesley Stowers, Battery L, 1st Michigan Light Artillery was dedicated in Solon Cemetery, at 1 p.m. Saturday. The dedication was well attended by descendants of Private Stowers and consisted of a prayer, presentation of the colors, a three volley salute and concluded with the singing of the song “Rock of Ages.” On January 14, 1864, Wesley joined his older brother Ashley, who had been serving in Battery L of the Michigan First Light Artillery since April of 1863. Wesley saw action in the Cumberland Gap area, Knoxville, and Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. He was mustered out with the rest of the unit on August 22, 1865 after the war ended. He came back home and lived in Solon Township as a farmer where he married Annet Steel on July 5, 1873. He lived there for 41 years and died on February 14, 1914 at the age of 70.

Following the services at Solon Cemetery, the Sons of Union Veterans moved to Elmwood cemetery in Cedar Springs to dedicate the headstone of Private John S. Tisdel, Company E, 1st Michigan Engineers & Mechanics. At this dedication the family was also present and a like honor was rendered to Private Tisdel. Private Tisdel joined his unit on August 30, 1862. He was involved in the siege of Atlanta and the march to Savannah; he mustered out of service on June 6, 1865 in Washington DC. He returned home to live in Solon Township and Cedar Springs, where he operated the Union Hotel until it burned down in 1873. In 1880 he was living in Nelson Township. He married Betsey Sage in New York in 1845 and died on June 14, 1901.


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