February 24, 2005

Memphis Democrat Planning Special ‘Bring John Home’ Edition

The Memphis Democrat, in conjunction with organizers of the “Bring John Home” ceremony, is planning to publish a commemorative special edition newspaper regarding the special Memorial Day weekend event to be held in Memphis this spring.

Corporal John P. Byrne of the 21st MO Infantry is finally coming home to Memphis to be laid to rest. He died in 1920 and was cremated. His sealed urn was placed on a shelf in a storage mausoleum in California waiting for someone to bring him home. After an extensive search by a niece, he was located and will be buried in the Memphis Cemetery next to two brothers, Harrison and Lucian, who also fought for the Union.

Funeral and burial arrangements are being made for Saturday, May 28, 2005. The wake and vigil will run from 12:00 noon on Friday till 12:00 noon on Saturday at the Payne Funeral Home and at the Courthouse which sits in the center of the town of Memphis, MO. The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865 organization is assisting the family with these arrangements to give this soldier a Veteran’s service.

“Since this may be the last funeral and burial of a Union Veteran, the family understands that there may be many who will want to come and pay their honors,” said event organizer Patricia Mullinix. “They are most graciously permitting us to claim John as one of our own, so that we may use this as an educational example of our Civil War history. Corporal Byrne’s funeral and burial will bring to light our plight to save our historic sites, cemeteries, monuments and battlefields.”

While the publication is still in the preliminary phases, the newspaper would like to ask area residents to submit articles, photos and other related items regarding local Civil War history. All submissions will be considered for publication in this special edition. Please mail items to the Memphis Democrat at 121 S. Main Street, Memphis, MO 63555 or send email to memdemoc@nemr.net.

Organizers have requested 10,000 copies of the event publication be made available free of charge to all those in attendance at the historical event. Anyone wishing to advertise in the publication or to help sponsor the commemorative keepsake can contact the Memphis Democrat at 660-465-7016.

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