Civil War Veteran and His Wife Laid to Rest at Tahoma National Cemetery

The first initial interment of a Civil War veteran in the State of Washington since 1951 took place at Tahoma National Cemetery on Saturday, December 10. For reasons that are not fully known, the cremated remains of James Powers, Jr. and his wife, Irena Hannah Keyes Powers, were shelved away for decades in community storage at the Lake View Cemetery in Seattle, following the death of James in 1921 and Irena in 1928. Last summer, independent historians James Dimond and his wife, Loretta-Marie, of Kent became aware of the Union Civil War veteran who had served late in the war as a private in Company D of the 12th Michigan Infantry. The Dimonds conducted exhaustive research on James and Irena and collaborated with a number of organizations and individuals, among them Civil War reenactment and study groups, genealogists, the Patriot Guard Riders, Tahoma National Cemetery staff, and the Washington chapter of the Missing in America Project, to insure that the couple received a dignified burial with military honors rendered for the veteran. An estimated two hundred people—including a number of Powers descendants—attended the committal service. Powers is the second Civil War veteran to be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery. In 2000, Medal of Honor recipient Jesse T. Barrick was reinterred from his original place of rest in Pasco, Washington. Image: Kathleen Kear; text: Cary Collins.