What do I know about Private Fred Evers? Precious little actually. But there’s a story behind what I do know.
I started going to the Dayton National Cemetery back in 2006 on Memorial and Veteran’s day. Most times I’d end up in roughly the same area, Section P. I guess I thought since most of these guys were in the Civil War, they had precious few people that cared. Michael and I always straightened their flags and I taught him about honoring those who sacrificed for you.
But in 2008, as I was leaving I had a “chance” meeting with an old gentleman. He had to be over 80. He asked me if I could help. All he knew was that his name was Evers, and had coordinates of “P, 16, 23”. I knew we were in the right section, but since I never had to look someone up, I had no idea if it counted from the top or bottom. Since it was HOT that days (in the 90s with no breeze), I suggested he stay in the shade, and I’d find him.
It took a few attempts, but I worked it out. He began to tell me a bit about himself. He was turning 90 that year. He lived in Pennsylvania and he had made the journey one last time. “I’m getting old, can’t get around good , and the car ride is just to hard on me. But I wanted to see him one last time.” It broke my heart to witness this. I didn’t want to intrude, but I didn’t want to leave. Was this why I always “somehow” ended up here? I knew what I had to do. I assured him that Fred Evers would not be forgotten. “We come here every year” I said. He thanked me and hugged me. He thought that Michael was a great kid, because he was here at the age of 5.
So I went Veteran’s day 2008. Checked out the area, but went to Private Evers’ grave. I made a promise. And in 2009, when it was really cold on Veteran’s Day, there I was. No visible sign that anyone in section P had a visitor. But Private Evers did.
So what do I know? Fred Evers died on June 9 (or 10th) in 1907. He was a veteran of the Civil War. He was in Company F of the 5th Ohio Infantry (Based out of Cincinnati). Hopefully I can uncover more on this man.
Find a Grave – http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=633694
5th Ohio Infantry – http://www.ohiocivilwar.com/cw5.html
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Ohio_Infantry