NORTH EAST, Md. - Atop a hill just outside North East, Maryland lays civil war veteran James D. Alexander.
He fought in the famed battles of Gettysburg and Antietam; he was wounded and lost a leg in the skirmish at Spotsylvania Court House.
But while he was laid to rest almost 90 years ago, it may never have been in peace.
"He was never recognized, given recognition. He was just buried and forgotten." said John Goff.
Until Goff started coming across artifacts that belonged of his great grandfather.
It started when he found a soldier's memorial given to his great grandfather when he was discharged.
Goff realized his relation was a fearless union hero who fought in this nation's bloodiest battles to preserve the union.
It was a proud historical trail. Goff's research led him to a small graveyard with a tombstone with had his great grandfather on the wrong side of history.
"Confederate States of America,” Goff said pointing to the confederate tombstone, “They got it wrong."
Goff says he discovered the monumental mistake nearly 30 years ago but had no real proof the tombstone was wrong.
It was only months ago when one of his aunt's showed him his great grandfather's original discharge and pension papers coupled most importantly with a picture of the civil war private in his union blues.
History it seemed, got it wrong.
"[The documents] are the proof that he was in the Union Army, wounded, taken prisoner and discharged, honorably discharged," said Goff.
So John took the papers he just recently found to the Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington DC and it agreed, after all these years to set the historical record straight.
The government will commission a new tombstone for Private James D. Alexander.
It will be authentic, accurate and in Goff's mind, place his family on the right side of history.
"Their intent was to divide the Union, his intent was to preserve the Union. [So you literally feel like you're setting history straight?] Yeah and the tombstone I've ordered for it I am having put on the bottom, ‘a wrong is righted.’ I think that says it all."
A wrong righted; history re-written in stone.
Goff says he will install the new tombstone himself this coming spring.
As far as why the old one was wrong in the first place, well that is just another historical mystery Goff says he will work just as hard to uncover.
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