Private Robert Richards


Cincinnati Enquirer, 20 November 1898, page 3


A peculiar state of affairs exists just at present over the shipping of Robert Richards, a colored private in Company H Tenth United States Volunteer Infantry. Richards died at the Ft Thomas Hospital some days ago and on Thursday was shipped to Spartenburg NC. by a Newport undertaker, the Adams Express Company acting as the carrier.

Nothing more was thought of the affair until yesterday when Thompson, the Adams Express Company's agent in Newport, received a telegram from Spartenburg which reads: "Corpse received in good condition and delivered.  The father says it is not his son."

How the mistake occurred, if there was one made, is not at present known.  The supposition is that a corpse, closely resembling that of Richards, was sent to Spartenburg while Richard's remains went somewhere else.  Thompson is now waiting to hear from some other agent as to "another father who says it is not his son." Perhaps Richard's remains went to Fulton, where it was intended to ship the corpse of a colored soldier named Clark, and perhaps Clark's body was sent to Spartenburg.

Then again, perhaps Richard's father does not know his son after battling with disease in a fever stricken camp.  Or maybe Richards is not dead and is still doing duty somewhere.  The officials at Ft Thomas, however, will attempt to unravel the mystery.


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