Civil War Veterans

Upon entering historic Eden Cemetery, visitors are greeted by an engraved obelisk dedicated May 30, 1919, to "The Colored Soldiers who fought and died in France 1917-1918 that liberty, equality and fraternity might be established between all nations and among all peoples."

The Civil War veterans aren't as evident. Through research begun by Friend of Eden Cemetery, Sheila Jones, 12 Civil War headstones were located, 10 of which are legible. She has identified two more gravesites of U.S. Colored Troops Civil War veterans on either side of the grave of 19th century poet and equal rights advocate Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, but has not yet identified them.

But at least 400 U.S. Colored Troops Civil War veterans are known to be among the remains re-interred in Eden from Philadelphia's former Lebanon Cemetery, but their identities are unknown, said Jones.

We know they are there from citations in the Christian Recorder AME newspaper," said Jones, who has located Civil War veterans in four sections of Eden.

Jones has managed to decipher some of the engravings eroded by the elements on the aged marble headstones at Eden, and determine the names of veterans buried there. Through books, cemetery internment records and the Internet, Jones has learned more about the lives of these black Civil War heroes.