Over time those who knew died off, records became buried under blankets of archival dust, and ultimately the location of Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Frederick Charles Anderson's grave was lost to generations of the once were and the now living.
Anderson, a Private in Company H of the 18th Massachusetts, had been awarded the medal during a ceremony held on September 6, 1864 for his capture of the flag bearer and regimental colors of the 27th South Carolina Infantry on August 21st of that year during the Second Battle of Weldon Railroad. Many who had searched for the grave, myself included, had been thrown off track by an unfounded rumor that he was buried at the non-existent "Anderson Family Cemetery" in Somerset, Massachusetts.
There were numerous references on the Web to Anderson being awarded the Medal of Honor, most which included this brief citation:
"Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 18th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Weldon Railroad, Va., 21 August 1864. Entered service at:------Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 6 September 1864. Citation: Capture of battle flag of 27th South Carolina (C.S.A.) and the color bearer."
Largely forgotten, Anderson's life, which ended in its fortieth year when he dropped dead in a Providence, Rhode Island railroad freight yard, was seemingly resurrected through a two-part series written by reporter John Quattrucci, which appeared in the Raynham Call on July 20, 2009 and July 28, 2009.
Unbeknownst to Quattrucci the story would inspire Call reader and Korean War veteran Charles Mogayzel to begin what ultimately became a two-year quest to locate Frederick's grave. That quest would lead through unsuccessful searches of numerous burial grounds in Somerset until, playing a hunch, Mogayzel obtained a copy of Frederick's death certificate.
Four miles separated Anderson from the center of his adopted home town of Somerset and his final resting place. Little did anyone think to look in the neighboring town of Dighton where Anderson had absolutely no connections. On October 20, 2011 the Taunton Daily Gazette featured a story of a group of four men, including Charles Mogayzel, who came to pay their respects to a man who stood 5 feet three inches tall in life, but whose courage on August 21, 1864 belied his physical stature, at the Dighton Community Church Cemetery.
Note to readers:
To read about the ceremony in which Anderson was one of three soldiers honored with the Medal of Honor on September 6, 1864 click on Read more.
To view a memorial for Frederick Anderson placed on the Find A Grave Web site click on