Near the Site of the Gettysburg Address, These Black Civil War Veterans Remain Segregated, Even in Death

hayat
Near the Site of the Gettysburg Address, These Black Civil War Veterans Remain Segregated, Even in Death

Near the Site of the Gettysburg Address, These Black Civil War Veterans Remain Segregated, Even in Death

Honoring the Legacy of Black Americans Buried in Lincoln Cemetery, Gettysburg

In the heart of historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Cemetery stands as a poignant reminder of the segregation that persisted even after the Civil War. Established in 1867, just two years after the war’s end, the cemetery is the final resting place for more than 450 Black Americans, including approximately 30 Civil War veterans. Despite their service and sacrifice, many of these individuals’ stories remain untold, with 136 of them laid to rest in unmarked graves.

Near the Site of the Gettysburg Address, These Black Civil War Veterans Remain Segregated, Even in Death
Near the Site of the Gettysburg Address, These Black Civil War Veterans Remain Segregated, Even in Death

 

A Legacy of Segregation

Lincoln Cemetery’s proximity to Soldiers’ National Cemetery, where over 3,500 Union troops killed during the Battle of Gettysburg are buried, is symbolic. While Black civilians dug most of the soldiers’ graves, Black veterans themselves were denied burial in the whites-only military cemetery. Andrew Dalton, executive director of the Adams County Historical Society, notes the irony of the location, stating, “It’s ironic that Lincoln spoke about a new birth of freedom, in perhaps the greatest oration ever, … several hundred yards away from what would become this cemetery.” Many Black locals enlisted soon after the Gettysburg Address, drawn by the message of hope and democracy. However, they continued to face discrimination and obstacles even after the war ended.

Restoring Dignity

Local organizations like the Adams County Historical Society, the Lincoln Cemetery Project Association (LCPA), and the Gettysburg Black History Museum are working tirelessly to renovate and restore Lincoln Cemetery. Collaborating with Gettysburg College, these groups aim to research the stories of those buried in unmarked graves and provide them with proper recognition. The joint effort includes an online community database with 443 records and counting, a crucial step in honoring the legacy of these overlooked individuals.

Preserving History for Future Generations

The restoration and research efforts at Lincoln Cemetery are more than just acts of remembrance; they are essential for preserving a crucial part of American history. By telling the stories of these Black Civil War veterans and the broader African American community in Gettysburg, these organizations are ensuring that their contributions and struggles are not forgotten.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *