A new headstone for a Union corporal felled during the Civil War was dedicated over the weekend, ending three-plus years of work restoring burial markers for Minnesotans killed in battle and laid to rest in their home state.
Cpl. Daniel Bracken’s headstone was ceremonially unveiled Saturday at St. Anthony Cemetery on Central Avenue between 27th and 28th avenues in northeast Minneapolis.
Bracken, who died in the Battle of Nashville in December 1864 at age 25, is one of 20 Minnesotans killed in action during the Civil War and buried here, according to Ken Flies, chairman of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force’s soldier recognition subcommittee.
Markers for 15 of the 20 needed replacement. Eight grave sites either had no marker at all or the stones were grown over, Flies said.
The task force was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2012, with the mission of educating the public about the state’s involvement in the Civil War.
Flies moderated the ceremony in Bracken’s memory under a clear blue sky. A bagpipe played “Amazing Grace” as Civil War re-enactors stood at attention in their Union blues. They raised their guns and fired a salute to the corporal who died in one of the Civil War’s last battles.
A woman in black placed a single flower at Bracken’s granite marker as the Stars and Stripes fluttered.
Bracken’s original headstone was buried just under the ground and broken into many pieces. Buried next to him are his mother and father. The family moved from Maine to Minneapolis in the 1850s, Flies said.
Roughly 825 Minnesotans were killed in battle during the Civil War, Flies said. Burial sites for about 465 have been documented. Most of those not buried in Minnesota were laid to rest in the East and South, Flies said.
The task force also rededicated headstones in Winona and Waconia for two Minnesotans who died soon after their release as prisoners of war.
Bracken was a member of the 10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Company K, made up of nearly all Irishmen. Eight other Minnesotans who died in the Battle of Nashville are buried in Minnesota, according to the task force.