Every Memorial Day the City of Martinez lays a wreath at the front entrance of the Alhambra Cemetery for all those in the military during the Civil War, World War I and World War II. This got me to thinking about how many military personnel might be buried in the Potter's Field. There is at least 1,000 that are buried there and they were not all poor. Are current research has shown us they might have arrived ill, injured or DOA at the County Hospital due to location or accident. Whatever the circumstances were, we do know that many of them could have been in the military.
This weekend we will be remembering Marine Lt. Col. Benjamin J. Palmer, Joseph's brother, who died in Afghanistan in 2011. We will also be remembering Robert L. Pitt, Judie's father, who died in the line of service saving three of his fellow fireman and succumbing to smoke inhalation in 1964.
But we will also remember our Potter's Field neighbors. Six-foot Texan Ralph Vester Walker who was a US Coast Guard Marine during World War II and 5' 5" Carl Ferdinand August Mueller who served as a private, in Company K, 12 US Infantry during the reconstruction period after the American Civil War and received his honorable discharge as sergeant in 1870.
We are both looking forward to discovering more of the military presence in Potter's Field in the near future. Our thoughts are with all of you that have lost a loved one during a war or heroic act. And, to those of you who have served our country, we thank you.
Joseph and Judie Palmer
Co-Founders of Potter's Field Restoration Project
Martinez Historical Society
Judie & Joseph Palmer are two of the founding members of the Potter’s Field Restoration Project and its Martinez Cemetery Committee for the Martinez Historical Society. Joseph is also a MHS Board Director, chairman of the committee and webmaster of its website. Both have a passion for discovery, history, genealogy, anthropology and archaeology.