Remains that are believed to belong to U.S. soldiers that perished in the Mexican-American war nearly 170 years ago have been returned home. The remains have been shipped to a military mortuary in Delaware in an effort to determine whether they belong to militia members of the Tennessee regiment known as “The Bloody First.” The fallen heroes were unloaded by the men that proudly guard the Tombs of the unknowns in Arlington National cemetery, the 3rd Infantry “Old Guard” unit.
DNA testing, elemental analysis, and forensic dentistry will now be used to determine whether or not the remains belong to Americans that were killed in the Battle of Monterrey in 1846. A team of 20 scientists and historians will work together to attempt to match the remains to missing soldiers from Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas that were known to have fought in the battle. The odds are stacked against them but they remain optimistic that they can identify the men. Forensic Anthropologist Hugh Berryman said:
“But if it can be done, it’s spectacular, and we’re going to see if we can do that,”
Over 160 Americans were killed or reported missing after the bloody battle. Some of the soldiers killed were reportedly children, freshly graduated from West Point academy. The analysis is expected to take several months. Berryman believes that bone analysis, which will determine what was in the water the men drank as they grew up, will help the researchers determine which states the fallen soldiers were from. At this time the researchers believe the scattered remains belong to approximatley 11 to 13 men.