After lying in an unmarked grave for almost an entire century, a Medal of Honor recipient from the Civil War-era was reburied with full military honors in a San Diego national cemetery.
Sgt. Charles Schroeter was reburied with a rifle salute as several veterans from past wars watched in attendance, some even dressing in uniforms from the Civil War era.
Researchers from the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States came across records that showed that Schroeter’s ashes had been buried in an unmarked grave at the private Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego. The researchers sent a Medal of Honor plaque to the staff at the cemetery to have it placed on his grave only to discover that Schroeter’s ashes had instead been set aside along with the other unclaimed cremated remains.
Director of Greenwood Memorial Park, Cathy Fiorelli stated in an interview, “I thought, ‘Ugh.’ This guy should be buried at our national cemetery. It feels more befitting, proper and appropriate as the final resting place for a war veteran and Medal of Honor recipient.”
Researchers discovered that the German-born soldier had been awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during the Battle of Rocky Mesa on October 20, 1869. An Apache attack on a stagecoach killed two civilians and four soldiers, prompting Schroeter and his fellow soldiers to track the Apaches in the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona. The group survived rifle fire that took the lives of two men and wounded another before the shooting stopped.
Spokesman for the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation, Bill Heard, stated “He devoted his life to his adopted country. He suffered bullet wounds, sabre cuts and he was a little guy, about 5-foot-6 and 135 pounds. He was tough as nails. He deserves to be buried among his comrades in arms.”