Young Teenage Civil War Casualty Remembered 150 Years Later

At just 14 years old, Michael Hanson served as a cabin boy aboard the USS St Mary’s, a small naval vessel that served as part of the “Pacific Squadron” in the Union navy. The Pacific Squadron worked to protect American shipping along the Pacific coast from Confederate raiders during the Civil War. Hanson died  October 9, 1864 while his ship was on patrol.

Originally buried in Panama in a segregated cemetery, Mount Hope, he was disinterred in 1979 and reburied at Corozal American Cemetery in Panama. Although most of the 218,000 men and women honored at ABMC cemeteries around the world died in World War I or II, Hanson is one of the exceptions. He’s among the more than 5,400 individuals buried at Corozal American Cemetery, many of whom died during the construction of the Panama Canal.