Public invited to line route of procession for MOH recipient

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The remains of a Medal of Honor recipient who died in 1884 will be relocated to the Leavenworth National Cemetery during a ceremony Friday morning.

Army Sgt. Robert McPhelan will be reburied with full military honors. The ceremony will not be open to the public. But Michelle Cebe is inviting people to line up along the route for the procession that will travel from R.L. Leintz Funeral Home to Leavenworth National Cemetery.

“Bring American flags and salute him,” Cebe said.

Cebe is the coordinator for the Wreaths Across America program at Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Her organization has been spearheading the effort to reinter McPhelan at Leavenworth National Cemetery after discovering in December that a Medal of Honor recipient was buried in a potter’s field near Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Lansing.

“No veteran should be laid to rest in a potter’s field,” Cebe said.

The procession is scheduled to leave R.L. Leintz Funeral Home, 4701 10th Ave., at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Cebe said the procession will travel north on 10th Avenue and then east on Muncie Road to the entrance to Leavenworth National Cemetery, 150 Muncie Road.

Born in Ireland, McPhelan joined the Army after immigrating to the United States with his wife, Mary.

He served during the Indian conflicts, and received the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the time he served with Col. Nelson Miles from October 1876 to January 1877. The Medal of Honor was presented to him July 18, 1877, by General William T. Sherman, according to a news release from Wreaths Across America.

McPhelan was working at Fort Leavenworth at the time of his death Feb. 1, 1884.

Cebe said funding for the reinterment of McPhelan was provided by the Henry Leavenworth Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army, American Legion Riders Post 370, VFW Post 6760 and and George Westbrook, in memory of his wife Janet.

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