Sgt. Lilly was mortally wounded at the Battle of Wauhatchie, TN, and was brought back to Syracuse for burial. Originally interred in Oakwood Cemetery, Sgt. Lilly's remains were removed to Woodlawn in 1911. A newspaper article reported the removal and the fact that none of his army comrades were in attendance. A later article explained that Nicholas Grumbach was in charge of notifying members of the G.A.R. that the body was being moved, but Grumbach was very ill and unable to make the proper notifications.
The Onondaga County Civil War Round Table recognized the sacrifice made by Sgt. Lilly with a public ceremony on Sunday, May 2, 1999. Among those participating were a color guard from the 149th NYSV reenactment group, members of veterans groups, and the Sons of Union Veterans.