HARLAN, Ky. — A federal agency is stepping in to prevent a Revolutionary War soldier’s grave from sliding into the Cumberland River in eastern Kentucky.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend between $3 million and $5 million to fix sinking ground at the historic Wix Howard Cemetery at Loyall, where Samuel Howard; his wife, Cloey; and their infant son are buried, local news organizations reported.
The cemetery is on top of a hill at the edge of a 100-foot-deep channel the Corps cut through to divert the Cumberland River and reduce the threat of flooding in Harlan County. Earlier this year, a cave-in created a 5-foot shear within 18 inches of Howard’s grave.
Engineers hope to remove the family’s remains by the end of the year and return them after repairing the hillside, said Mike Wilson, a project manager for the Corps.
Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, whose district includes the county, had urged the corps to find a solution to the sinking ground.
“We recognize the historical and emotional importance of this site to the community and families affected,” the Corps said in a statement.
Samuel Howard witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown before helping settle Harlan County, local historian James Green III told the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2cVeaCG). He died in 1840 and is buried next to his wife.