Great-great grandson honors forgotten Ky. Civil War soldier - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Great-great grandson honors forgotten Ky. Civil War soldier

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Burrell Strange Sr. is now remembered at the Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff after he was forgotten for 150 years. Burrell Strange Sr. is now remembered at the Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff after he was forgotten for 150 years.
Records show Burrell Strange Sr. died June 21, 1863 in Columbia, Kentucky. Records show Burrell Strange Sr. died June 21, 1863 in Columbia, Kentucky.
Historians believe Burrell Strange Sr. may have died in combat or of disease and was buried in a mass grave. Historians believe Burrell Strange Sr. may have died in combat or of disease and was buried in a mass grave.
Martha Strange has been buried alone for 150 years. Martha Strange has been buried alone for 150 years.
Ron Strange searched for evidence of his great-great grandfather's death. Ron Strange searched for evidence of his great-great grandfather's death.
RADCLIFF, Ky. (WDRB) --  For 150 years, no one knew what happened to a Kentucky Civil War soldier who never returned home. It took the persistence of his great-great-grandson to put all the pieces together and fight for a grave marker so his sacrifice would never be forgotten again.

“Burrell Leonard Strange Sr. 1820 to 1863 Union Army…lost to an unknown grave somewhere in Kentucky while serving with the Union forces during the War for States’ Rights,” Ron Strange read from the grave marker he will place next to his great-great grandmother’s grave.

Military roots run deep in Ron Strange's family. He served in Vietnam and his father in WWII.

But he never knew one of his greatest fights would be for a man who died 150 years ago, a man of whom he can't find a single picture -- his great-great grandfather.

“I felt it was important for my family,” he said.

When he found his great-great grandmother's grave alone in a small cemetery in Anderson County, he wanted to know more.

Hours of microfilm later, Ron Strange found records of when his great-great grandfather enlisted in the Union Army. He served with Kentucky's 9th Cavalry.

Finally Ron Strange found records of where his great-great grandfather died, in Columbia, Kentucky, on June 21, 1863. Historians speculate the 40-year-old Civil War soldier died either in combat or disease and was buried in a mass grave.

“Through no fault of his own he was thrown into a hole and covered up with a bunch of other guys no telling who was there but it just wasn't right,” Strange said.

Ron Strange had to gather all the evidence he could when he asked the Department of Veterans Affairs for a military-sanctioned grave marker for his great-great grandfather. It took months, but the VA finally agreed.

Burrell Strange, Sr. is now remembered alongside his military brothers at the Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff.

“I'm really proud of him and proud of his service,” said Ron Strange.

Now, he's putting a second grave marker next to his great-great grandmother's grave, putting the pieces of the puzzle back together albeit a century and a half later.

“Now his memory has a permanent resting place after 150 years. I just think he had been forgotten. It was something I really had to do or felt I had to do,” said Ron Strange.

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