What began as an Eagle Scout project to repair a few grave markers at the Arnold Grove Cemetery in Hillsboro culminated Saturday in a community commemoration of the service of veterans from America’s three earliest wars.
Dozens of re-enactors representing troops from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War joined historians, Boy Scouts, veterans groups and area residents to unveil new veterans markers at the graves of 22 war veterans buried in the cemetery.
Potomac Falls Eagle Scout candidate Jack Craig of Troop 572 led the gravestone restoration project, which expanded with the assistance of gravestone conservator Ken Fleming.
Fleming, a past commander of the Clinton Hatcher Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, organized Saturday’s elaborate service to mark the completion of Craig’s work and to highlight the role these Loudoun residents played on America’s battlegrounds—fighting for independence, turning back the British four decades later, and enlisting in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
During the ceremony, metal veteran of war markers were placed at the graves. Additionally, the gravesites of two men, War of 1812 veteran William Butts and Ira Follin, who rode with Elijah V. White’s Comanches during the Civil War, now are marked by new headstones provided by the Veteran’s Administration.
While 22 veterans were recognized, only 21 gravesites were marked. Brothers Thomas Leslie and William A. Leslie share a grave. Thomas was injured at Bull Run and died of typhoid while recuperating at home; William was died of injuries sustained during Pickett’s Charge in Gettysburg.
The program included salutes by mounted cavalry troops and infantry re-enactors plus a thundering cannon salute by the 1st Regiment Continental Line Infantry.