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Vietnam Veteran Raises Money to Restore Civil War Veterans’ Forgotten Gravestones

NEVADA CITY -- Vietnam veteran Dan Baldwin has always been sensitive to veteran issues but he could hardly imagine that it would lead to a historical mystery that he’s been at for over a year.

Baldwin has been in the process of cleaning over two dozen headstones of forgotten Civil War veterans that he stumbled upon at the Pine Grove Cemetery outside Nevada City.

His limited research shows that it is a burial plot for members of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization for Union Civil War veterans. It was the forefather of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

There are no other records about when the plot was established or about the men buried in the plot.

The last person who was buried there was in 1928. The military headstones list the soldier and their unit, which span several states. They apparently came to California after the war and established homes there.

Baldwin said he’s identified several of the Civil War veterans through old military records and is in touch with historical groups to find out more about them.

"These men are special men and the Civil War was a special time in American History that tried the whole country," Baldwin said.

Baldwin continues to take on the expensive cleaning process and is trying to raise money for a simple plaque to commemorate the contributions of the Civil War veterans.

He has created a GoFundMe page toward that end.