John Long, a descendant of Peter Long, a War of 1812 prisoner of war, speaks during Peter’s grave marker dedication at Boonville Cemetery Saturday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
John Long, a descendant of Peter Long, a War of 1812 prisoner of war, speaks during Peter’s grave marker dedication at Boonville Cemetery Saturday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
WHITLEY COUNTY – Descendants of War of 1812 prisoner of war Peter Long held a dedication for a new grave marker for him at Boonville Cemetery Saturday.

Delphia Long, descendant of Peter, said the decision to replace the grave marker was made because it was decayed and broken in half.

Delphia’s husband, William “Bud” Long, who is not a descendant of Peter’s but has the same last name, said he is into genealogy and was researching the history of their families. He said Delphia’s sister is buried at Boonville Cemetery and Bud knew Peter was buried somewhere in the cemetery. He spent five years trying to find the grave but couldn’t find it. The grave marker was shown on ancestory.com, so Bud knew what he was looking for, but he couldn’t find the grave marker. He got on the burial plot listing for the cemetery and realized Peter’s grave should be somewhere in the vicinity of Delphia’s sister’s.

Bud brought son John out to the cemetery and Bud said John “whipped out his phone” and was able to locate the grave marker.

Bud said what could be read on the grave marker is Peter Lo.

Bud said he knew new grave markers could be requested for veterans through the Department of Defense, which is how the new grave marker was received. The process to get the new grave marker took about 2-1/2 months. The new grave marker was put up April 23.

Bud said the purpose of the dedication was to honor veterans.

Descendants of Peter were invited to Saturday’s dedication. Bud said he hadn’t had anyone contact him regarding the dedication. Bud said Peter had 12 or 14 children and each of those children had an average of 10 children, so there has to be hundreds of descendants.

He said having a War of 1812 veteran’s grave is very rare for the area since Indiana was not a state during the war. Bud said veterans needed to be honored. Peter was a prisoner of war. It was not unusual for the British during the war to kill American soliders, instead of taking them prisoner, Bud said.

The Warsaw Legion Post 49 Honor Guard did a three-volley salute during the dedication.

Also during Saturday’s dedication, Bud’s son John said the family talked about doing the dedication on Memorial Day, but Bud didn’t like that. Bud wanted the dedication to be about Peter and Memorial Day is about all fallen soliders.

John also shared some of what was known about Peter.

Peter Long lived from 1793 to 1870. Peter was born Feb. 22, 1793, in Somerset, Pa., to possibly Jacob and Catherine Himmelberger Long. He was the fourth of nine siblings.

He was a solider of the 22 U.S. Infantry during the War of 1812. Peter was appointed corporal on July 1, 1813, then sergeant on either March 1 or 6, 1814. On July 25, 1814, he became a prisoner of war at the Battle of Niagara and kept prisoner at Halifax, according to information from William.

On April 20, 1815, he arrived at Salem from Halifax. He was present at roll in June or July 1815 with Capt. Marrows commanding the 22nd U.S. Infantry. Peter was discharged at Saketts Harbor on July 8, 1815, under a surgeon’s certificate for deafness.

Research shows Peter moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio around 1833, then Indiana around 1850. John said they don’t know where the land actually is or if it’s still with family.

He died in Richland Township, Whitley County, on Sept. 2, 1870, at 77.