Civil War Graves / Greenwood Cememtery
4 January 2004
Sunday edition of the Asbury Park Press. 

(This newspaper is published out of Neptune, New Jersey.
If you have kin that served in the Civil War, buried in Green-Wood, 
you might want to contact Mr. Richman
to have their graves marked as such with the headstones the cemetery
is going to provide.)

The famous and the infamous buried in Brooklyn cemetery.

New York---Beneath twin marble gravestones in the Green-Wood
Cemetery in Brooklyn lie the PRENTISS brothers, buried along with
their 138-year-old tale of sibling love and hate.

	The pair fought for opposite sides in the Civil War, their mutual
antipathy only resolved by a battlefield reunion after both were
wounded in the 1865 seige of Petersburg, Va. They died months
later, and were interred side by side in their native Brooklyn.

	Sitting in an office at Green-Wood, Jeffrey RICHMAN recounts the
saga of CLIFTON and William PRENTISS. Their tale is one of dozens
rediscovered since RICHMAN mounted a search last year for the
estimated 6,000 Civil War veterans buried at the landmark cemetery.

"We have some amazing stories that we're coming across", says
RICHMAN, the cemetery's official historian.

	Like any detective RICHMAN stays busy chasing leads---some
gleaned from ancient index cards and grave registries, others sent
in by Civil War buffs or veterans relatives. He's pored over history
books, including 1879's "Camp and Field Life of the Fifth New York
Volunteer History." He's searched ancient newspaper archives. He's
even perused 140-year-old  box scores of baseball games played by
soldiers on the cemetery grounds.

RICHMAN doesn't work alone. In May, 60 volunteers walked through
the 478 acre cemetery in search of potential veterans' graves. A 
similar effort was undertaken in September, with 80 people turning
out---including retired educator Susan RUDIN.

"My husband and I are interested in the history of ordinary people 
during extraordinary times," said RUDIN, who is helping assemble
biographies on the soldiers.

Her favorite Green-Wood Civil War veteran was Albert JOHNSON,
a Confederate colonel from Louisville, Ky. JOHNSON moved to a 
Brooklyn mansion after the war, helping develop the borough's mass
transit system.

JOHNSON is one of several hundred positively identified Civil War 
veterans. Another is Louis Napoleon STODDER, Boston born but
buried in Brooklyn. The Union soldier was at the  wheel of the ironclad
Monitor during its historic clash with the Merrimac; he suffered an injury
when a Confederate shell struck its turret.

Among STODDARD's neighbors is Aois BRAU, who enlisted in the 
Union army at age 15, survived the war between the states, then
returned home to don a tuxedo and run a dance studio.
It's no surprise that Green-Wood, home to nearly 600,000 permanent
"residents," would serve as such a historical repository.
The cemetery is as much a New York institution as the Brooklyn Bridge
or Central Park---and it predates both by decades. Founded in 1838, its
population grows at the rate of nine funerals per day.

Among its more famous residents: "Wizard of Oz" actor Frank MORGAN,
composer Leonard BERNSTEIN, newspaperman Horace GREELEY. There
are the infamous, too: mobsters Albert ANASTASIA, and "Crazy Joey" GALLO,
and the corrupt politician 'Boss" TWEED.

The new project has several goals: locating all the vets, getting them proper
gravestones, and publishing a book about the Civil War through the lives of
those buried in Green-Wood.

"I can tell the story of Gettysburg with 10 different people on the field 
that day,"
RICHMAN says. "All New York guys, and all here at the cemtery."
That group includes Sgt. Nathaniel CARLTON, killed during the fighting at 
Gettysburg's "railroad cut," and Gen. Henry SLOCUM, who survived the three
days of bloody fighting to become one of Brooklyn's leading citizens.
The cemetery plans to pick up the cost of the new headstones as part of the
project. Any money generated by the book would be donated back to the cemetery
to cover costs.

Some stories are stranger than others. Col. J. Lafayette RIKER, a balding, 
bearded officer, found himself facing court martial for allegedly shacking 
up in his tent with a woman posing as an Army private.

In the book, "Tarnished Eagles," an account of 50 Civil War court martials, 
RIKER's story is titled " I Felt of Her Bosoms." He was acquitted of the charges, 
but there was no happy ending; he died at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Va., 
on May 31, 1862.