Tucson group searching for relatives of Civil War soldier

Searching for family of Civil War veteran
Updated: Sep. 7, 2018 at 9:46 PM MST
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Pension card for Howard Banes. Source: Wikitree
Pension card for Howard Banes. Source: Wikitree

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A local group of veterans is hoping the public can help track down the family of a Civil War soldier, buried in Tucson nearly 90 years ago.

"Very important we take care of our civil war veterans, headstones and things like that," said John Lyons, a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

It's a mission Lyons takes seriously, with veteran Howard Banes the next in line for a headstone ceremony at the Evergreen Cemetery off Oracle Road and Miracle Mile.

Through research, Lyons learned Banes was born on July 10, 1845 and served with the Third Colorado Cavalry.

"He came down to New Mexico and ran the Texans out of New Mexico and saved the Arizona territory for the Union," Lyons said.

Banes died in Tucson on February 4, 1931. With information from online searches and cemetery employees, Lyons found the dirt plot at Evergreen where Banes is buried.

"No honors, no flag, just put in the ground and buried," said Lyons. "It upset me that nobody took care of him at the time of his death, nothing we can do about it now, except honor him the way we are doing it."

With the new headstone, approved by Veterans Affairs, and a fundraising effort to pay for the installation, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will have the ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 29.  But, they are hoping distant relatives of Banes can be there.

"We are trying to reach them, so we can honor them as well as the veteran and give them a burial flag for this veteran," said Lyons.

Research shows Banes could have been married to a Georgianna, who was born about 1855 in Massachusetts. The only child to Lyons' knowledge, is a Charles Louis Banes, who died in Missouri in the 1950's.

"No other information," said Lyons. "We went on, we went on and looked. I went in the phone book and called all the Banes in Tucson hoping to find them. It might not be a Banes, it could be a married daughter of a Banes, or something like that."

Anyone with information that could help the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War find relatives of Corporal Howard Banes, is asked to contact John Lyons at (520) 241-3914 or

Those who would like to attend the ceremony, here are the details:

  • Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
  • 9 a.m.
  • Evergreen Cemetery, at the corner of Oracle Road and Miracle Mile
  • The grave is located towards the back of the cemetery. If entering off Oracle Road, you will take a right, then left and follow the dirt road back.

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