LEWISBURG, Pa. -- A Civil War veteran was finally laid to rest with proper military honors, 151 years later.
There are now three headstones instead of two on a bank in the Lewisburg Cemetery. The change comes as Nancy Neuman of Lewisburg made a history-altering discovery.
"The cemetery records were wrong. The Veteran's Administration records were wrong. Everyone who came through the cemetery and recorded only put down two Airey's because they only saw two stones," Neuman explained.
Through extensive research, Neuman discovered that Milton Airey, an African-American Civil War veteran from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had been mistaken in some records for his brother. And although he was laid to rest beside his two brothers, he never received a headstone.
"So today we're going to have a service to recognize Milton Airey and finally give him some recognition," said Neuman.
Neighbors, history buffs, and Civil War reenactors attended the special ceremony to honor Airey.
John Lee of Lewisburg donned his blues and became Chaplin William McCormick to perform funeral services for the soldier in true Civil War-era fashion.
"As the pastor, to right a wrong in our diverse society today is a good feeling," Lee said.
People who attended the service in Lewisburg tell Newswatch 16 they were honored to be a part of Milton Airey's ceremony.
"You called on patriotism and what you thought was right," said James Faus of Orangeville.
"You just can't leave it go. You can't let them disappear or their memory disappear."