One hundred and fifty years ago, J. Adam Hollander was a fresh-faced German immigrant who volunteered to fight in a country that had been his home for just a few years.
Hollander fought with a Wisconsin regiment for three years, luckily escaping injury, though he became so sick from typhoid fever he woke up to see his coffin waiting by his hospital bed.
A coffin would not be needed for Hollander until 1922.
This much Jean Hibben knows about her great-grandfather. She also knows he received a burial befitting a Civil War veteran, as well as a brass GAR medallion, for Grand Army of the Republic, placed next to his grave at Milwaukee’s Forest Home Cemetery.
At some point the medallion was stolen or lost. Hibben, a professional genealogist living in California, noticed it was missing. She didn’t think that was right.
And so on Thursday afternoon, Hibben and her brother stood silently next to Hollander’s grave marker and listened as two members of the local chapter of Sons of Union Veterans, dressed in blue Civil War uniforms, read a proclamation during a short ceremony. A new brass GAR marker was placed in the ground next to Hollander’s grave.
"We honor your memory, Private Hollander," Tom Mueller said before he and Brian McManus, commander of the C.K. Pier Badger Camp No. 1, stood at attention and saluted.
Images and story via the Journal Sentinel