The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 26, 2013

Durbin finally recognized as Union soldier


DANVILLE — For the first time since he died at Soldiers and Sailors Home in Danville in 1903, an Iowa infantryman from the Civil War will be honored on Memorial Day as a member of the Union Army.

Because of an engraving error, John Durbin’s stone listed him as a member of the 24th Louisiana Infantry in the Confederate Army. For years, his gravesite was pointed out as the only Confederate in the vast cemetery.

While doing research on Confederate soldiers buried in Vermilion County, historian Larry Weatherford found the error and brought it to the attention of Danville National Cemetery Supervisor Misty Henson. She took the paperwork that Weatherford provided to the National Cemetery historian, who agreed that Durbin was indeed a member of the 24th Iowa Infantry.

A new stone was engraved and installed.

Following the annual 11 a.m. ceremony Monday at the cemetery, members of the Illiana Civil War Historical Society’s 35th Illinois Infantry re-enactment group will march to the gravesite, and fire a volley in honor of the “Boy in Blue,” who had been considered a Confederate for more than 100 years.