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Published May 10, 2012, 10:24 PM

Forgotten Civil War veteran finally getting recognition he deserves

Hewitt, MN (WDAY TV) - In a few days a grateful state and country will honor a veteran buried in an unmarked grave near Hewitt, Minnesota, not far from Wadena. His name is Edgar Lewis, a veteran of the Civil War. Many curious volunteers, and hours of research have led to Edgar Lewis finally getting a veteran's marker so his grave will no longer go unnoticed.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

In a few days a grateful state and country will honor a veteran buried in an unmarked grave near Hewitt, Minnesota, not far from Wadena. His name is Edgar Lewis, a veteran of the Civil War. Many curious volunteers, and hours of research have led to Edgar Lewis finally getting a veteran's marker so his grave will no longer go unnoticed.

In an oak tree filled cemetery outside Hewitt, Minnesota, graves and names of farm families from this west central Minnesota town. But for nearly a century, at this gravesite, a Civil War Veteran lies forgotten. His name is Edgar Lewis. He fought for the state of Wisconsin's 20th Regiment during the Civil War.

Edgar was shot and wounded during a fierce battle in Arkansas. He died in 1919 and was buried here in Hewitt, Minnesota. No marker was placed, and until a few months ago family had lost track of what state or county he was even buried.

Jerry Mortenson – Fergus Falls Monument: “How often do you get to place a Civil War Monument?”

Fergus Falls Monument will soon change that. The marker has arrived and it will be placed this week in preparation for a grand ceremony this weekend at the Hewitt Cemetery.

Jerry Mortenson: “It’s good to remember him. His grave has been unmarked for 93 years, and he died in 1919 at the old soldier's home down in Minneapolis.”

In a few weeks volunteers will fan out and decorate the graves of thousands of veterans in our area for Memorial Day weekend, and for the first time ever Edgar will finally get a flag.

Al Jeske – American Legion-Motely: “It chokes me up just thinking about it.”

Al Jeske with the Motley Minnesota Legion will be there. So will Civil War re-enactors. Edgar Lewis will finally get the color guard, honors and cannon salute missing when he was buried a century ago.

Al Jeske: “I hope they walk away with not only the thought this is a great country, but it took men like Edgar Lewis and many more to make sure the freedoms we have remain.”

Sure, it is just a stone, but for those family members who have a connection with him, and the strangers who are organizing his day of honor it is much more than that. It comes down to a thank you, an apology, and a promise to forget no more.

For more on the celebration of Edgar Lewis this Saturday in Hewitt, click on the Easy Link tab.

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