Ashes of Civil War vet taking motorcycle ride across America
By The Associated Press
The ashes of Jewett Williams, who served in the 20th Maine Regiment in the Civil War, are taking a cross-country road trip with the Patriot Guard Riders from Oregon to his home state of Maine. (KPTV)
SALEM, OR (AP) -
Jewett Williams served in the 20th Maine Regiment in the Civil War. When he died in 1922 at an Oregon insane asylum, he was cremated and his ashes were stored and forgotten along with the remains of thousands of other patients.
On Monday, Williams' ashes were handed over at a ceremony to a group of motorcycle-riding military veterans for a journey across the country to his home state.
The Patriot Guard Riders, a group that attends the funerals of U.S. military veterans, firefighters and police, then started their Harleys and began the long journey to Maine, where Williams' ashes will be taken in relays by group members for burial with military honors.
Williams died at what is now called the Oregon State Hospital in 1922, just a few months after being admitted. Patients whose bodies were not claimed by family were cremated, the ashes put in canisters and into a shed.
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