Mexico shipped back the bodies of 10 U.S. soldiers Wednesday who died during the Mexican-American War 170 years ago.
The bodies belong to likely members of the Tennessee Militia who lost their lives in the Battle of Monterrey in 1848. Remains of the fallen Americans were sent to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware in two coffins with the American flag draped over each of them.
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) will take the lead in examining the remains to determine the cause of death for each of the dead Americans. “We hope to have findings that allow a deeper understanding of the men who gave their lives in the engagement at La Teneria,” said Professor Hugh Berryman, the Director of MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education.
The militiamen’s remains were found in 2011 at a construction site in Monterrey. Upon finding their remains, based on the shape of their skulls as well as the size of their bones, archaeologists knew the deceased were Americans. Another clue at the construction site as to the heritage of the deceased, were a couple 50 cent coins near the remains.
A staffer for U.S. Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee tweeted out an image of the militiamen’s coffins arriving at the Dover Air Force Base. Sen. Corker was not present at the Dover Air Force Base but did play a role in getting the militiamen’s remains back to the U.S.
Nearly 168 years to the day, the remains of Tennessee volunteers who fought in the Battle of Monterrey are finally back on American soil. pic.twitter.com/rKsHrbTq17
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) September 29, 2016
“After five years of ongoing negotiations with the Mexican government, we have finally returned our fallen Volunteer State heroes back to American soil,” said Representative Diane Black who was at Dover to receive the coffins.
This article was updated to reflect that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker was not at Dover Air Force Base when the Tennessee militiamen’s remains arrived at Dover Air Force base but he was represented by staff.
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