I did not have a very good experience with the cemetery, either, too busy, I guess.Photos of McDonald's grave along with various Mansfield family members were sent to me through RAOGK.I don't know how they are related, or if they, are, but they were from Canada.
McDonald was not a Civil War soldier. He was an ACS in the New Mexico Territory during that war. He spent most of his 30 years' service on the Western Frontier fighting Indians.He began his career in 1856.
I don't think he was ever married.In one letter he said he was married in the second he said he was a bachelor.He may have been married before he immigrated to the U.S. in 1840, because in one letter he stated he was in business for 13 years and "through the folly of his senior partners, he lost everything and wanted to get away from all whom he had previously known and chose the army to best effect his purpose." This was the letter in which he fessed up he lied about his age at recruitment.He said he was 29 when he was actually 34, because he thought the army would not want someone of his age.But because of his youthful looks, he was not questioned. In another letter he stated he felt guilty when lying to senior officers every time he received a commission.
From what I have gathered from his letters, he was intelligent (also noted by his senior officers), articulate, a gentleman, and brave in confrontations with ticked-off Indians in New Mexico and Montana.
He apparently had relatives in Canada because in his 30 years' service, he had only two leaves, both to Canada. My grt-grandmother Esther (McDonald) Pane was born in Caithness, Scotland, married 1862 in Ontario, naturalized in US in 1866 and died in Chicago. Robert's death was recorded in her bible by my grandmother.
I originally wrote to the Archives for info on Robert, but they couldn't find anything and with my permission, they gave my request to a professional genealogist.I never did get the name of the genealogist, but I received a treasure trove of interesting historical accounts of Robert's experiences on the frontier, along with a written recommendation for the MOH by Col. Miles A. Nelson. In one letter he described his encounter with hostile Indians in New Mexico who had their arrows pointed at his chest because of a misunderstanding with the young lieutenant who was temporarilly in charge of the fort while the senior officers were away.
If the Mormans are correct, and we are all going to be reunited with our families in the afterlife, I will have many questions to ask Robert...and reprimand the ancestors who left NO footprints!