The ceremony was the culmination of two years of research and planning by "Jungle Jim" Gano. Gano, a lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW Post 2253, discovered that a cousin of his, William S. Gano, who served in the Civil War, was buried at the cemetery, and didn't have a stone marking his grave. Gano talked to Cherokee County Veteran's Affairs Director Dana Evans, and he set the wheels in motion to get a stone made and set at William Gano's grave. Gano placed a flag and G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) medal at the site, as well as at the graves of the five other Civil War veterans buried at Diamond - Henry Woodcock, Jacob Dowding, James Farr, Edwin Taylor and Marion Williams.
At the May 23 ceremony, VFW Post 2253 was represented with a flag corps. Rev. Magrey DeVega of Cherokee's United Methodist Church sang, Rev. Bruce Rapp of the United Congregational Church in Aurelia gave a brief sermon, and Civil War re-enactors Norm Kolb and Evan and Nancy Knapp fired off a cannon salute to the soldiers. Evan Knapp also presented an informative talk about the Civil War before the program got started.
As far as Jungle Jim Gano knows, the only Civil War vets at Diamond Cemetery who still have relatives living in this area are William S. Gano and James Farr. One of Farr's relatives, Don Mummert, is an American Legion Commander and was present, in uniform, at the May 23 ceremony.
Gano hopes that the long-overdue recognition of the Civil War veterans will spark others, especially relatives, to remember more veterans with floral or other tributes at their resting places.
For photos from the May 23 event, see "Civil War Vets Remembered" Photo Gallery.