April 2023

Last Soldier Project

The John W. Foster Camp No. 2 is planning a “Last Soldier” event for the weekend of September 23, 2023. The last Civil War soldier buried in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, was Corporal George W. Winlock of Co. C, 115th U.S.C.T. Infantry. Born in Logan County, Kentucky, around 1847, Cpl. Winlock joined the 115th on October 15, 1864, as a private. He was promoted to corporal on December 1, 1865. He was mustered out at Indianola, Texas, on February 10, 1866. George W. Winlock died on June 10, 1939, and is buried at Locust Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana.

Cemetery Projects

A primary goal of the John W. Foster Camp SUVCW Grave Project is to locate the final resting places of all Union Civil War Veterans in southwestern Indiana. We also work to maintain and improve final resting places of Union veterans. Here is an update of recent and future cemetery work by our camp.

Bellefontaine Cemetery, Mt Vernon, Indiana: The John W. Foster Camp embarked on a large-scale cemetery project that resulted in application for and receiving 103 new military headstones, in addition to another 26 to be reset. In all, there will be 129 replaced and reset headstones within the Soldiers Row at Bellefontaine. Over one quarter of the soldiers buried in Soldiers’ Row at Bellefontaine died at the Mt. Vernon, Indiana, U.S. General Hospital during the Civil War. The remaining number were buried after the war and include a small number of Spanish American war veterans as well as one Indian War and WW I veteran. The research to find unknown named soldiers has been ongoing since February of 2022. Work at the cemetery is nearing completion and is expected to end in early May. The Foster Camp has been working side by side with the Sons of the American Legion Post in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, to complete the

Bellefontaine Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Indiana: In addition to replacing and resetting headstones in Soldiers’ Row, the Foster Camp received requests to replace three additional headstones within the cemetery but outside of Soldiers’ Row. Assisting in the work was Camp Commander David Hoesli and Past Department Commander Dennis Hutchinson.

Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana: The John W. Foster Camp is currently working construction of two metal cannon carriages to replace the older wooden carriages that have fallen apart. The goal is to have at least one of the two cannons that have sat in Section 24 since 1872 back in the section by this summer. Currently, the University of Southern Indiana completed the CAD digital copies of the original blueprints and are compiling a list of materials and costs on the first cannon. In addition replacing carriages, the Camp will clean and straighten all the headstones in Section 24 as well as paint the mounted siege cannons, mortars, and the fence.

Old Boonville Cemetery, Boonville, Indiana: An old broken headstone has been removed and a new military headstone was installed on December 5, 2022, for Pvt. Francis M. Floyd. The old headstone that was set in concrete was broken up and removed prior to the new headstone installation. Assisting in the project was Department Commander Jim Floyd, Past Department Commander Dennis Hutchinson, and Foster Camp Commander David Hoesli.