But as she continued to visit the 9-acre cemetery, the gratification of finding him grew into a festering anger.
The burial grounds were in disheartening disrepair.
The grave markers for identified Civil War soldiers, which had once stood upright, years ago had been removed, cut shorter, and laid flat on the ground. Many of the headstones were damaged and broken.
Hull was outraged. "His life was every bit as important as those (buried) at Antietam, Gettysburg and Arlington," she said.
Hull's great-great-grandfather and the thousands of soldiers who lie around him in Poplar Grove
recently were granted that respect.
After years of decline, the cemetery was rededicated late last month following a comprehensive rehab. The story of the effort to correct a wrong is being told this Memorial Day weekend with tours. Officials concede that no other National Park Service cemetery has required this level of work.
But it was a long time coming.
How the cemetery fell into disrepair
Poplar Grove's plight was the result, at least in part, of misguided good intentions and lack of resources.
In 1933, the care of the cemetery was transferred from the War Department