2018-02-10 / News

Names May Be Added to Civil War Memorial

By Jacob A. Ball

Additional Civil War veterans could be recognized at the city’s veterans memorial, after the City Council authorized Paul Wandrie to continue his research into four names he believes might belong. The veterans’ association with the Island will need to be confirmed and the names approved by the Veterans Committee before they could be added to the memorial stone. Mr. Wandrie discovered the candidates during his ongoing research into the Island’s veterans affairs.

“I do not think it will ever be complete, but I certainly want these people to be recognized,” Mr. Wandrie said.

Twenty-nine soldiers are now named on the monument, installed in August 2017 at Veterans Memorial Park.

Certain information has only become available recently, including a large increase in the data related to the War of 1812. For that reason, Mr. Wandrie, who served for 20 years in the U.S. Army, is interested in working toward establishing a memorial for the War of 1812, and inquired about the city’s interest in erecting a second monument downtown.

The council approved the request to continue the genealogy work, but did not comment on a potential War of 1812 memorial. Councilor Andrew McGreevy asked Mr. Wandrie to keep the council informed of his progress on the research.

To conduct the research, Mr. Wandrie collaborates with Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Phil Porter and studies a variety of sources, including Ancestry.com’s Registry of Enlistments, which includes U.S. military information dating to 1798. He has identified four veterans he believes should be considered for addition to the memorial. Plans are to keep the names private until their identities can be verified. The collaboration with Mr. Porter allows Mr. Wandrie to compare his data with that collected by park historians.

Mr. Wandrie will seek a grant to pay for access to the Veterans’ Service Records at the National Archives so he can investigate the names of veterans from Mackinac Island who served during the War of 1812.

So far, he has identified around 20 veterans who might be from Mackinac Island, although no all may, in fact, be from here.

Eventually, the plan would be to provide the Veterans Committee with the same information that was compiled for the Civil War Memorial and the committee would decide wither a second memorial would be installed.

Mr. Wandrie served as chairperson for the committee until his retirement from the city in October 2016.

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