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Sons of Union Veterans of
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WHO WAS  WILLIAM B. KEITH?

William Boone Keith (1840-1920) was a Private during the American Civil War and later settled in the Las Vegas, Nevada area.


William Boone Keith is one of a dozen or so known Civil War veterans buried in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. He was born in Ohio on March 30, 1840. Keith enlisted as a Private in Company K, 12th Iowa Infantry. His regiment joined General Grant's expedition to Shiloh, Tennessee where Keith was captured at the "Hornets' Nest." Keith was exchanged on October 17, 1862 and, after rejoining his unit, suffered a serious wound at Tupelo, Mississippi. Keith was discharged on February 9, 1866, ten months after the war's end.

After the war, Keith met Joseph M. Graham, a Confederate veteran, in Las Vegas and the two became the best of friends. When Graham died of pneumonia in 1917, Keith obtained his ashes from Graham's wife in Virginia and buried them in plot 410 and saved plot 411 for himself in Woodlawn Cemetery off Las Vegas Boulevard. Keith died on December 11, 1920 and, as was their joint decision, the two veterans from opposite sides of the conflict share a common tombstone bearing the following inscription:
 

Civil War Veterans 1861-1865

Arrayed in the conflict, in strife and dismay,
One wore the blue, the other the gray,
Time brought its changes, the two came to know,
The joy which true friendship, in life can bestow.

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Created 4 Mar 2008; Revised 25 Aug 2015

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