While wandering among the gravestones at Shoup-Thompson Cemetery, I noticed the broken white gravestone for Artimus Russell (d. 1862). Pausing to read the inscription, I wondered: Was the top of the stone lost? Had it been carved with an urn and drapery? Maybe an open book?
E & B. RUSSEL
June 9, 1862
20 Yrs 4 mo.
Then I spied the missing piece.
It was safe and sound, leaning back-to-back against the lower half. The date of death plus age and gender already had me wondering whether he was a Civil War casualty. The carvings convinced me: Flags swagged to reveal an eagle an shield. What handsome military-themed decoration!
Some post-cemetery research on Amazon.com reveals that 19-year-old Artimus Russel (Artemus Russell) enlisted in the Union Army on November 4, 1861. He died of disease the following June, but not before he earned a promotion to Corporal.
Even without a fancy graphics program, I managed to put the pieces back together. Not perfect by any means, but when I squint my eyes, I like what I see.
Shoup-Thompson Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio