There's a lot of history in Erie County and much of it revolves around the community of Waterford.  A Civil War veteran is buried there and his story is fascinating. However there's no sign, monument, or plaque to honor the veteran.

This is the story of Frank, the Civil War Horse.

"He started out as a Confederate horse and fought in who knows how many battles, says JoAnne Lenart-Weary of the Ft. LeBoeuf Historical Society.  “But, he was captured or taken as bounty during a battle by a Union officer.  He ended up with Colonel William Colt from Waterford."

Col. Colt, whose grave is located in Waterford Cemetery, rode Frank in eight battles during the Civil War. Frank was injured by shrapnel in the final battle. Col. Colt loved Frank and brought his equine comrade to Waterford after the war. The people of Waterford soon became enamored with Frank as well.

"Frank came back here and almost became like having a pet,” says Lenart-Weary. “He would just wander the town. There were rules in place at that time that livestock was not allowed to roam, but there was an allowance made for him.  So you would often see Frank in your backyard eating your flower garden or whatever he felt like doing."

Col. Colt had Frank for 23 years. There was a tradition that the colonel and Frank would lead the annual 4th of July parade in Waterford. In 1887, a cannon was fired during the parade and a happy event turned into a tragedy for Frank.

"Basically, it scared him to death and he dropped over and died right there during the parade,” says Lenart-Weary.

Frank was a beloved citizen and a war veteran.  Townspeople insisted on a full military funeral for the horse. Frank was wrapped in the flag, and lowered into his grave at 3rd base of the town ball field. That ball field still exists in the center of Waterford. 

"He was lowered there while the crowd sang 'Nearer Thy God to Thee' and Taps were played,” says Lenart-Weary.

The Ft. LeBoeuf Historical Society believes a plaque or memorial may be erected at the ball field, not only to honor Frank, but also to promote tourism in the community.

According to the society, Frank is the only horse to be buried with full military honors in the State of Pennsylvania.