Black civil war soldiers

Dignity in Death: Two more Civil War heroes....

There are about 93,000 people buried at Eden, including re-interred remains from Lebanon Cemetery, the Stephen Smith Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored Person's Burial Ground, Olive Cemetery and the First African Baptist Church Burial Grounds, all Philadelphia cemeteries disrupted by urban construction

Sheppard Shay was a 59-year-old cook when he died in Philadelphia on Aug. 10, 1902. Military records indicate he was 21 when he enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 20, 1861, seven months after the start of the Civil War, but his recorded birth year of 1843 shows he probably was not much older than 18. His remains were removed from Olive Cemetery in Philadelphia and re-interred in Eden on May 26, 1903.

The Civil War was almost over when coachman John W. Esley enlisted in the Army Feb. 28, 1865 at age 27, but he managed to achieve the rank of sergeant with Company F of the 24th U.S. Colored Infantry before being discharged seven months and four days later. He died March 10, 1913 at the age of 77 and was buried at Eden three days later.

Some Local Civil War Heroes

One of the first Civil War veterans' graves visible upon entering Eden Cemetery is that of Robert Daniels, a 22-year-old "oysterman" from Baltimore, when he enlisted with Company I of the 19th U.S. Colored Infantry on June 7, 1864. He died Feb. 18, 1924 in Philadelphia and is buried in Celestine, the oldest section of Eden.

Nathaniel Logan of Philadelphia, a corporal in Company A of the 6th U.S. Colored Infantry, suffered a gunshot wound to his right foot on June 15, 1864 at Petersburg, Va. A 29-year-old married carpenter when he enlisted in the Army, Logan was 93 in 1927 when he died and was buried in Eden.

Perry Bolden, a private in Company A of the 41st U.S. Colored Infantry, was a Teamster from Darby, who had a wife and at least three children when he died around age 75 and was buried on March 14, 1919 at Eden.

According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Bolden lived on Marks Avenue about a block away from Darby shoemaker Nimrod West Johnson, who served in Company F of the 7th U.S. Colored Infantry. He died of a heart condition on New Year's Eve 1906 and was buried Jan. 4, 1907 in Eden.

Laborer Benjamin Cork, a Navy veteran of the Civil War, was also a Darby resident who married in 1873, 10 years after enlisting in the service at age 21. He died of "cardiac degeneration" on April 2, 1912 and was buried at Eden two weeks later.