This stone marker belonging to John McQuestion sits alone one-half mile east of Ghent on 210th Ave.

Civil War hero not forgotten

Pvt. McQuestion buried in lone Ghent cemetery; fought with 41st Wisconsin

Situated on a parcel of land along 210th Ave. just one-half mile east of Ghent sits one lonely white marble gravestone.
There are some bushes a few feet behind it and a grove of trees even a little further east. There is no sign indicating it was once a cemetery, nor is there any roadside marker indicating who or what the marker stands for.
A closer inspection reveals the name JNO McQuestion. Under his name indicates he was with Co. A, 41st Wis. Inf., fighting for the Union in the Civil War.
The headstone is in relatively good condition with the absence of lichen or moss growing on it as you normally see from a headstone this age. McQuestion's headstone was broken about two thirds of the way down and repaired. A close inspection reveals a crack where the stone was epoxied.
The grounds in which the gravestone resides has been well taken care of. Doug Maertens said he purchased the land about 18 months ago.
"I removed some elm trees behind there and cleaned things up a little bit," he said. "I'm planning to plant some evergreens sometime."
Out of respect for this Civil War soldier, no one has used the land around the grave for anything, yet they still keep it well groomed.
George DeSutter was a U.S. Navy veteran who mowed the grounds for many years until his passing in 2013. Now his son, Mike DeSutter, has been mowing the grass on the grounds.
It is rumored that others were buried here along with McQuestion in this cemetery-like setting. But the other bodies were exhumed many years ago and reinterred in the St. Eloi Cemetery a half-mile to the north on the gravel 210th Ave.
"I heard it was because (McQuestion) wasn't Catholic and the others were," said Maertens, who grew up outside of Ghent.
H.P. Loomis, who was a local justice according to a Mascot article, purchased the land in 1881 with the plan to establish a cemetery. John McQuestion, an Irishman, had already been buried there for almost a year before the cemetery was established.
Those familiar with Ghent know there is a McQuestion Street, but it is named after Orlando McQuestion, one of the founding fathers of Ghent. Orlando McQuestion, a cousin of John, also served in the Civil War with the Company E Wisconsin Infantry.
John McQuestion was born Feb. 6, 1796 and died on Oct. 6, 1880 at age 84.
Searching the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers website lists John McQuestion as a private in 1864 when he was 68 years old. He was assigned to Company A, 41st Volunteer Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry.
McQuestion's 665-man unit was formed on June 8, 1864 in Milwaukee, according to the website. The unit was sent to Memphis. While serving garrison, railroad guard and picket duty in the Memphis area, they were raided, along with other Union regiments, by a Confederate troop led Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Many Union soldiers and officers were captured.
On an interesting note, Gen. Forrest's bust, which was housed in the Tennessee State Capitol, was removed in July of 2021.
On Sept. 24, 1864, after serving 100 days, the unit disbanded. A total of 18 soldiers from McQuestions's unit died during service; all by disease.
How and why McQuestion ended up in Ghent after returning from the war remains a mystery.

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