Beginning in 2003, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) embarked on the Last Soldier Project. The purpose of the project is to locate and appropriately mark the final resting place of the last Civil War Soldier buried in each county/parish in each state.
The Cadot-Blessing Camp #126 SUVCW of Gallipolis has completed this identification and recognition in three Ohio counties including James M. Gatewood of Gallia County, David T. Hoover of Lawrence County, Barak Chase of Jackson — and at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 16, the group will honor John Henry Cottrill of Vinton County.
The ceremony for Private Cottrill will take place at the Castor Cemetery locate on Ohio 689 about five miles north of Wilkesville, Ohio.
John H. Cottrill was born in Meigs County in 1846 and enlisted at the age of 15 in his first regiment which was Co. E of the 75th OVI. He was wounded at McDowell, VA. and discharged but later rejoined the Union forces in the 4th Independent Cavalry and eventually ended up in the 174th OVI Co. E.
Pvt. Cottrill was mustered out with the company in Charlotte, NC on June 28, 1885. Pvt. Cottrill died at the age of 92 in 1937 with the Wilkesville American Legion in charge of the funeral.
The recognition ceremony will consist of the ritual prescribed by the SUVCW including firing of an Honor Salute and concluding with Taps.