Descendants honor Civil War veteran

toward the grave of Cyrus Marcus Armbrust, a Civil War veteran buried in the Marysville Cemetery, during a memorial event on April 28. - Lauren Salcedo
toward the grave of Cyrus Marcus Armbrust, a Civil War veteran buried in the Marysville Cemetery, during a memorial event on April 28.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

MARYSVILLE — Those driving along State Avenue shortly after 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, might have been surprised to see men in Civil War uniforms at the Marysville Cemetery firing their muskets into the sky.

But that’s exactly what they would have seen, as a local family gathered with friends and Civil War re-enactors and stood near the grave of their long-dead ancestor — Cyrus Marcus Armbrust — to perform a traditional Civil War memorial for the Union soldier who died more than 100 years ago.

“I think it went great,” said Corey Stinson of Arlington, who led the memorial. “My whole point was just to do something that I needed to do.”

Stinson is a distant relative of Armbrust’s — his mother is Karen Rodin of Stanwood, Armbrust’s fourth cousin. Rodin was the one who discovered through that Armbrust was her distant relative and that he was buried in the Marysville Cemetery. Since her son, Stinson, and his children had previously performed in Civil War re-enactments, she was glad to find that Armbrust was a Civil War veteran.

Stinson, a member of the Washington Civil War Association, has since begun re-enacting as Armbrust’s unit — the 11th Pa. Infantry Co. 1. That particular unit also included several brothers and cousins of Armbrust and Stinson is proud that he and his four sons can represent several of his ancestors at once.

The family, along with other Civil War re-enactors, dressed in traditional uniforms and carried .62 caliber Model 1842 Springfield muskets. They stood silently while Stinson and Rodin spoke a few words about Armbrust.

“I am proud to say that I am Cyrus’ fourth cousin,” said Rodin. Stinson placed a new Grand Army of the Republic marker on the grave and Rodin stood holding an American flag. A flag was also placed in the marker, which read “G.A.R. 1861-1865.”

The unit then performed a traditional salute, in which the group of 10 fired their muskets into the air. Bystanders took photos and video of the event.

“We could have just come and stuck the marker in the ground, but we wanted to do more,” said Adam Carter, who represented 1st. Sgt. H. Adam Delave. Carter said that honoring Armbrust in April is appropriate since it was the month in which he was born.

Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and for some, the memorial was a way for people of this generation to honor those of the past.

“This was very fascinating, it’s good to not lose our appreciation for history and honor those veterans for what they did,” said Colleen Cooley of Snohomish, one of the audience members.

Others felt that honoring Armbrust was like honoring a family member who served the nation.

“You don’t know who your ancestors are, but then you find them and you feel like you know them. You get so involved that today was emotional for me,” said Rodin, who wore a medal on her lapel, showing that she was a descendent of someone who went through Camp Curtin, a military training camp in Pennsylvania. “You feel for someone you never knew,” she said. “But you really feel like you do know them.”


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