Stop 2: Hiram Lare

Lare Grave

Lare grave.

Grave #3247

This is a story of two brothers, not brothers by blood, but brothers through war.  The bonds forged between comrades were as strong as family, sometimes even stronger. 

On Memorial Day 1931, a single rose was laid on the grave of Hiram Lare in honor of this bond.  John B. Cooke, a 90 year old veteran in 1931, had been a messmate of Lare’s.  John was smaller, younger, and weaker than Hiram, so Hiram looked out for him like an older brother would.  During the May 12th fight at Spotsylvania Hiram was killed and John wounded in the leg.  John sat by the body of his friend begging for some of the boys to bury it.  They did the best they could and John never heard another word about what happened to Hiram.  For 67 years John wondered what happened to the body, then Major Arthur E. Wilborn, secretary of the US Memorial Park Commission, heard the story and contacted Cooke with information about his friend’s grave.  The 90 year old Cooke could not travel to Fredericksburg, but he expressed his gratitude for the information and said “I wish it was possible for me to lay a rose on his grave on May 30 as a token of love and gratitude for him that has never died.”  The rose laid here in 1931 represents how one death can resonate through the years.