14 June 2011

New Woodland Cemetery Monument to Honor Black CW Veterans

I learned some Civil War history this morning (14 Jun 2011) while reading an article on the front page of the Metro section of The Plain Dealer.

First of all, I learned that many African-Americans from Cleveland served in the Union Army during the Civil War. And that most had to go to Massachusetts to volunteer, because Ohio didn't have any black regiments until later in the war.

I also learned that a total of 86 black Civil War veterans are buried in Cleveland's Woodland Cemetery, and that even more are buried in various cemeteries throughout the area. These CW vets are largely unrecognized--even in the  Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Cleveland's Public Square. But that is about to change. The volunteer Woodland Cemetery  Foundation is working to erect a monument recognizing their service. And the Soldiers & Sailors Monument is studying how to honor many of them as well.

The Johns-Carabelli Co., a local monument maker, is donating the stone and will inscribe it with  the names of the vets buried in Woodland Cemetery. That's worth about $5,000. The Woodland Cemetery Foundation is raising the remaining few hundred dollars to pay for the monument's foundation.

The cemetery also has monuments honoring two Ohio regiments from Cleveland: the 7th and the 23rd, as well as a third monument dedicated to all Union soldiers.

For more information about the Woodland Cemetery Foundation and its work, go to www.wcfcle.org.

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