NIAGARA FALLS — The surviving family of a 16-year-old Civil War veteran has been found and will soon be visiting the site where he is buried at Oakwood Cemetery.
Their discovery even solved one of the mysteries at the Niagara Falls cemetery.
Daniel Cohn had been buried without a headstone in a lot owned by Temple Beth-El after his death in January of 1865.
Town of Niagara historian Peter Ames, after finding documents placing Cohn at the site and being unable to find a headstone, ordered one, then conducted a search for the family on Ancestry.com and found a surviving great-great nephew named E. Mark Karlsberg living in Ohio. Karlsberg had been researching his family, as well, and had some surprising news to share with Ames about the missing headstone.
“All I know is what my mother told me and when I lived at home we had a detached garage behind us, and in the detached garage was the headstone,” Karlsberg said. “Now how it got there, I believe it was probably never placed and when they moved to Freemont, Ohio, they took the stone with them.”
Karlsberg’s great-great grandfather, Sam Cohn, was the father of both Daniel Cohn and Karlsberg’s grandfather, Isadore Cohn. After the war, for what Karlsberg believed were business reasons, the family moved to Ohio and generations passed. The house that Karlsberg was born in was sold and has since been burned to the ground was the last place anyone had seen the headstone.
But Daniel was not forgotten.
“There was always talk of trying to find (Daniel). They thought there was a monument by a suspension bridge and so my cousins went … (but) never really found the marker … when we went to Gettysburg, we looked on some of the stones that were there, and we thought he was in the Vermont Infantry … we didn’t see a name there,” Karlsberg said. “It was sort of a mystery. It was in the background.”
Ames, after finding records of the remains and ordering a stone for the site was pleased to have solved the mystery.
“That all started when we probed some time ago and couldn’t find a stone. We figured it would be a nice thing to honor this guy so we ordered that stone then after that I went looking for relatives because I wanted to see if anyone was interested in seeing the new stone,” Ames said.
There has also been talk in the community surrounding Daniel by members of Beth-El Temple as to how this young soldier should be honored. Karlsberg said he and his family would be at the site in August.
“We’re going to try to get an honor guard there," said Warren Kahn, a member of Beth-El. "Just have a very brief ceremony and maybe say a few words in appreciation."