In the Wild with Greg Wagner


On this Memorial Day 2010 we honor those fallen heroes of the U.S. military service branches, those who were injured in battle, those who served and those who continue to serve.

My wife Polly always told me that she had a great-great-great grandfather whom she had thought served in the Union Army during the Civil War. She always showed me a cuff button he apparently had saved from the uniform he wore. Subsequently, it was passed down to her through the generations in the family.


So, several weeks ago, I set out on a mission to find this Nebraskan – William Lawrence of Platte County, Nebraska – who served his country in the Union Army during the Civil War. With the magic of the Internet and various, reputable websites, I located Pvt. William Lawrence, Co. D, 3rd Illinois Cavalry.

William died on April 8, 1891 and is buried in the Streeter Cemetery near Platte Center, NE. This is where I found that information and the fact that he served in the Union Army:  

Here’s the website where I was able to track details about the regiment in which he served:

Your family thanks you wholeheartedly for the service to your country, Mr. Lawrence, during one of the worst wars in the history of the U.S.  

You be sure to thank a veteran today or whenever you can! I challenge you to research or to speak with those in your family who have served or continue to serve, it’s important, you’ll learn a lot!

See you out there, perhaps at the Streeter Cemetery near Platte Center this afternoon, putting a small American Flag and some flowers on the grave of my wife’s great-great-great grandfather acknowledging his tremendous service to his country!   


2 Comments so far
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Greg, maybe the cuff button was a souvenir he got in the war. It’s has the letter “C” on it for confederate?? maybe?

Comment by Herb

I’ve checked it out, this is a Union Army cuff button and the letter “C” stands for cavalry. Union Army cuff buttons featured the US eagle and originally had letters denoting the soldier’s branch of service: I for infantry, C or D for Cavalry and A for artillery but due to the size of the army this was done away with early in the Civil War to cut costs, although soldiers, mainly officers, in the artillery, infantry and cavalry continued to use them well after the Spanish-American war.

Thanks for the comment though, Herb! Have a good one!

“Wags” — Greg Wagner

Comment by Greg Wagner

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