Flies said he’s also had some heart-pounding moments in his physical searches for long-hidden gravesites.
On one occasion he went looking in a St. Paul cemetery for a Pvt. Edmund Sampare.
Using only a vague map of the cemetery and a sharp probe, he made four trips there until one day, while poking into the soil in a plot of unmarked grass, the probe struck something solid.
Flies’ eureka-moment discovery lay hidden under 6 inches of sod. It was Sampare’s memorial plaque, identifying him as a member of Company A of the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters.
Sampare received his new granite gravestone in September.