15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 12, 2018 11:29 AM by Christopher Padgett

    Fort Liscum Cemetery

    Christopher Padgett Newbie

      Hello, I am trying to find the burial records for those who were buried at a U.S. military base called Fort Liscum, Alaska.

       

      http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/cdmg11/id/18857/rec/9

       

      It was abandoned at one point in time and the location appears now to house large tanks (maybe oil) on the south side of the Port of Valdez, Alaska.

       

      http://valdezalaska.org/discover-valdez-history/valdez-history-fort-liscum

       

      I had a cousin buried in the cemetery there.

       

      I learned through the Valdez Public Library there was an article in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner dated 5 Apr 1971 indicates that reinterments were made from Fort Liscum to Sitka National Cemetery in 1929.

       

      I contacted the Archives and Manuscript Department at the Consortium Library at the University of Alaska as their website indicated they had burial record books for Sitka National Cemetery: Sitka National Cemetery. Sitka National Cemetery Register Books, 1882-1953. Sitka: The Cemetery, 1953

       

      The librarian at the University of Alaska told me the books were no longer housed there and had been sent to the Sitka Museum in 2011. I contacted the Sitka Museum and they have no record of these books in their collection.

       

      My question is -- where can I locate burial records for those who were buried at Fort Liscum? I am trying to learn if my cousin is still buried there or was his remains moved to Sitka National Cemetery?

       

      I contacted Sitka National Cemetery and they have no records whatsoever of bodies being moved there from Fort Liscum.

       

      Would the National Archives have records for Fort Liscum's cemetery or the Sitka National Cemetery for those moved from Fort Liscum?

        • Re: Fort Liscum Cemetery
          Rebecca Collier Tracker

          Dear Mr. Padgett,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the Fort Liscum files in the Records of U.S. Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920 (Record Group 393) and the Records of U.S. Army Continental Commands, 1920-1942 (Record Group 394) but were unable to locate records specifically about the fort cemetery.

           

          We also searched the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92) and located information about the Sitka National Cemetery in series titled General Correspondence Relating to Places, 1936 - 1945. Filed under decimal 333.1, contents of a document indicated that the cemetery included reburials from various abandoned posts in Alaska. Other documents indicated that the cemetery records were supposed to be transferred to the Chilkoot Barracks and the cemetery itself was to be under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Road Commission (part of the Department of Interior). We were unable to substantiate this.

           

          Since Sitka National Cemetery is operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, we suggest that you check the online grave locator to determine whether your cousin was reburied there. If he was not, you may wish to conduct a more in-depth search for records about the fort cemetery by visiting the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference.

           

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Fort Liscum Cemetery
              Christopher Padgett Newbie

              Thank you, Rebecca. This is helpful. The whole matter is a bit frustrating, because I've contacted the Veterans Administration and I've also used the gravesite locator service and they have no record for him at Sitka National. They have no record for anyone at Sitka National transferred from Fort Liscum (at least the person I spoke to on the telephone indicated). This is a contradiction to the article I mentioned above in the Alaska newspaper and the information you were able to locate. When I called the cemetery in Alaska, the staff person I spoke to gave me major attitude and was dismissive to me. I don't live near the National Archives, but it bothers me that the government can just lose a cemetery (Fort Liscum). I am now wondering how many soldiers were actually buried there who have also been misplaced. My fear is my relative (and the relatives of others) are laying under what appear to be on Google Earth those large oil tanks on the south shore of the Port of Valdez. Thanks for looking into it.

              • Re: Fort Liscum Cemetery
                Elliot Schneider Adventurer

                Mrs Collier,

                 

                Do you think that they would have any records pertaining to Fort Liscum within RG 49, Records of the General Land Office.

                 

                 

                Elliot Schneider

              • Re: Fort Liscum Cemetery
                Elliot Schneider Adventurer

                Mr. Padgett,

                 

                It's possible you maybe able to submit a FOIA request to the Department of the Interior. LAST question have you tried to receive VA files you may find documents in service members VA files, especially regarding burials.There maybe a headstone application that may have been filed, try the following

                 

                Burial Ledgers. The National Cemetery Administration, Washington, D.C. (Original records transferred to NARA: Burial Registers, compiled 1867-2006, documenting the period 1831-2006. ARC ID: 5928352. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773–2007, Record Group 15. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

                 

                 

                Thanks,

                 

                 

                Elliot Schneider

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Fort Liscum Cemetery
                  Christopher Padgett Newbie

                  Someone else digging around shared this map with me which shows the location of the original cemetery at Fort Liscum. This is the first map I've seen with the cemetery on it. They suggested I should try to overlay this with a Google Earth map, but honestly don't know how to do it. It appears off the center of the fort near a geographic feature called Jackson's Point. If anyone reading this know how to do that, I'd really appreciate any help you can offer.

                   

                  http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/cdmg11/id/19744/rec/6

                   

                  If anyone is interested, I am trying to identify all of the soldiers who were buried at Fort Liscum. I don't believe there were military headstones ordered for them, but I believe they are either still buried in the location of this defunct fort, or they were transferred to Sitka National Cemetery and for some reason Sitka has no records of the transfer and likely has no markers for these soldiers.

                   

                  I'd appreciate any help from genealogists who may be interested in helping crowdsource a list of all the Fort Liscum burials using Alaska death records.