Following an unexpected construction disturbance near the Margaret Corbin gravesite at West Point Cemetery, an extensive archeological and forensic study by the U.S. Army has revealed that the remains interred at West Point in 1926 are in fact not those of Margaret Corbin but rather an unidentifiable man from the colonial era.
During a West Point Cemetery crypt installation project in 2016, a construction contractor used excavation equipment inside the burial section around Corbin’s gravesite, causing a significant disturbance to the buried remains. The Army immediately directed that all excavation stop and worked to secure the site. The remains were recovered by the Army Corps of Engineers Chief Archeologist. The recovered remains were then fully examined by State University of New York - Binghamton Forensics Anthropologist. Her examination determined that the remains were biologically consistent with a tall, middle-aged man alive between the colonial period and 19th century. The entire area around the gravesite was searched with ground penetrating radar with no additional findings. The remains of the unknown were reinterred at the West Point Cemetery.
The U.S. Army’s complete forensic report related to the archaeological recovery around the Margaret Corbin Monument is available on the website of the U.S. Military Academy.
For more information:
“DAR and U.S. Army Plan Re-dedication to Honor Margaret Corbin After Grave Disturbance” – DAR Press Release, December 5, 2017
“Army Honors Revolutionary War Heroine in Memorial Re-Dedication After Grave Disturbance” – U.S. Military Academy - West Point Press Release, December 5, 2017