By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An historic cemetery in Old City Philadelphia today observed Memorial Day with the dedication of a plaque honoring a Philadelphia man who died during the Civil War.
The ceremony honored Maj. Charles Izard McEuen, a founding member of the Union League, who was later killed in the Battle of Lewis Farm on March 29th, 1865, just days before the Civil War ended.
Today, three volleys were fired and Taps was played at Christ Church Burial Ground, to mark the plaque dedication. Christ Church historian Neil Ronk says McEuen’s life is “a really interesting story that would make the stuff of a wonderful screenplay.”
Ranching in Texas when it seceded from the Union, McEuen was arrested for his Union sympathies and paroled, but barred for three years from serving in the Union Army. So, for those years, he found other ways to serve the Union cause: giving speeches, editing articles, and raising funds for the Union Army hospital in West Philadelphia.
After his battlefield death, he was laid to rest at Christ Church Burial Ground in a grave that was long unmarked.
“His is, in many respects, what you expect a patriot biography to be,” Ronk says, “and it’s our chance to belatedly give him his just due.”