Indiana history buff restores Civil War gravestone

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ALBANY, Ind. - A former auto worker and history buff is keeping a Civil War soldier's memory alive by restoring the fallen soldier's marble gravestone.

Doug Cross of Albany came across Thomas Kent's grave last September while looking for a site where Civil War soldiers had used limestone slabs to cross the Mississinewa River.

He spotted Kent's gravestone in a clearing in the old Steubenville Cemetery and quickly suspected it belonged to a soldier.

"It was pitch black," he said. "It looked like a soldier monument by the way it was shaped, and I could read the word 'Fell' on there."

The gravestone was filthy and nearly indecipherable, but Cross took pictures and used a computer to enhance them. He and his 10-year-old daughter, Kelli, then used water and a soft scrub brush and non-damaging chemicals to make the stone readable again.

"It was full of sediment, kind of like a sandy substance, and we picked that out as good as we could," Cross said.

Now its words are clear: "Fell, Dec. 31, 1862 at the Battle of Stone River contending for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Aged 22 Ys, 1 Mo and 22 Ds."

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