Since we visited Arlington National Cemetery for Christmas, my first headstone of the week is one I specifically went to first ~ that of my grandfather. Interestingly enough, I knew exactly where it was, even though it had been a number of years since I’d been there. (over 10 to be exact!)William Francis Sherman, II (according to him) is buried in Section 12, Site #1415, within view of the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier.When I got to the grave, I wondered about the dip in the ground and what appeared to be dead grass around it, until it dawned on me about all the recent news stories about errors in burials in that cemetery. If the grave falls behind the headstone, the one reinterred was not my grandfather, but the veteran who’s headstone is in front of his. It was hard to photograph what the naked eye saw, but I tried.
As I stood at my Grandfather’s final resting place, I asked him “Who are you??” He had told my father that he had lied about his age to join the service because he was too young to enlist but doubtful that was the reason. I think he also lied about his name. He has entered several different dates of birth on documents I have found, different birthplaces and now my brother’s DNA does NOT match any other Sherman on record! The closest match we can find is to the Ziegler family and that is within 5 generations!
He is my very own grandfather, and my very own block wall! Since my grandparents got a divorce the family never spoke of him. His death certificate information was not factual since it was completed with information he had furnished his family. And you would think that the Veterans Department would have a great file on this man and they probably did . . . until that dreaded fire in St. Louis.
This man took his secrets to the grave with him and I wish he’d tell me just a couple of them . . .