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The long journey home: fellow vets escort Civil War solider remains cross country

Private Jewett Williams, Company H 20th Maine Infantry (Suri Crowe)

APPOMATTOX, Va. (WSET) - On October 21, 1864, a 21-year-old soldier got drafted into the US Army in Bangor, Maine.

Now more than a century later his remains, that were just discovered, are being escorted across the country back to his home.

Private Jewett Williams was in Appomattox for the end of the Civil War, but he never got a proper military burial. In fact his life was quite tragic. But, now members of the patriot guard have made it their personal mission to bring him the honor they say every fallen soldier deserves.

Not much is known about Williams, but historians who researched his life, say he died alone and suffering from serious illness. So, the Guard says not only is it an honor, but a privilege to finally bring him home.

The Patriot Guard is escorting his remains 3,000 miles from Oregon where Jewett died in a hospital for the insane to his home in Maine. Thursday, they were in Appomattox for a ceremony.

"There's nothing better that we could do honor fallen heroes and even if it was from 1922 when he passed," said Patriot Guard member, Greg Cissell.

Williams was serving the Union army in Appomattox when the war ended. The Guard says the ceremony held at the Courthouse is an important stop on his journey.

Following the war, Williams drifted West suffering with war related ailments. He died in 1922 without fanfare. Williams was father to five children and died a widower. But nothing is known about his descendants.

These brothers in arms say every soldier deserves recognition, even if it's nearly a century in the making. "It's a deep honor. It's a privilege," said Patriot Guard member, Jim Robinson.

From the ceremony in Appomattox Guard members are heading to Gettysburg and Williams will finally be laid to rest at the Togus National Cemetery in Maine near five of his comrades from Company H.

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