Carlisle Civil War History Lesson: Memorial Park-Lincoln Cemetery: United States Colored Troops (USCT) Graveyard

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Image set of current layout of Lincoln Cemetery including detail images of plaques and information panels

Next week will be the historic 150th Anniversary for the Battle of Gettysburg and many great events are happening all around our region.  It seems appropriate that we shine a light on an important Civil War historical marker we have here in the Northwest corner of Carlisle, Lincoln Cemetery.

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House Divided’s image set on Flickr showcases historical images of Lincoln Cemetery, scans of original documents about the soldiers buried there & newspaper clippings related to the project to remove the headstones in 70’s

It is located on the east side of Memorial Park at the corner of North Pitt and West Penn Streets and it was an African American burial ground for approximately 100 people between 1840 and 1902 including 35 former United States Colored Troops (USCT) veterans.  In 1971 the cemetery was mostly abandoned and there was a push to create a recreational park by the railroad tracks and station.  Despite much controversy, the headstones were removed, although the buried remain in the ground underneath the park,  and a sitting area and walking path was added where the graves were along with memorial plaques and one headstone.  It is unknown what actually happened to the original headstones that were there although many people have been researching what became of them.

The House Divided Project is a rich site chronicling the coming of the Civil War.
The House Divided Project is a rich site chronicling the coming of the Civil War.
Henry W. Spradley served in the 24th USCT regiment (under the name Henry Williams) and is buried in Lincoln Cemetery

Dickinson College has been working for a many years on a Civil War research project called the House Divided and they have made many historical documents available in digital form including many related to Lincoln Cemetery.  One student from the school learned about the cemetery and wanted to highlight not only its history but to tell the story of one of the men buried there.  Henry W. Spradley was a former slave, who served in the 24th USCT regiment and later became a beloved member of the Dickinson College staff.  The student, Colin McFarlane, created an 11 minute documentary about his search to uncover the untold stories of Lincoln Cemetery through one of the men laid to rest there.

Here are some additional place to locate more information about Lincoln Cemetery:

The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau has a site devoted to the Civil in Cumberland County and has posted a few articles related to Lincoln Cemetery
The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau has a site devoted to the Civil War in Cumberland County and has posted a few articles related to Lincoln Cemetery
“Laid to Rest,” Carlisle (PA) Herald, April 12, 1897 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/housedivided/5549825047/in/set-72157626172356464 Audio Reading: http://cumberlandcivilwar.com/carlisle-map/
“Laid to Rest,” Carlisle (PA) Herald, April 12, 1897
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/housedivided/5549825047/in/set-72157626172356464
Audio Reading (5): http://cumberlandcivilwar.com/carlisle-map/
Scanned documents related to headstone removal and park renovation in the 70's
Scanned documents related to headstone removal and park renovation in the 70’s

Here is a full list of the African-American Soldiers buried in Lincoln Cemetery.

Alexander, James — Company I, 127th USCT
Bailey, L. James — Company G, 32nd USCT

Barton, John H. — Company H, 7th USCT
Berry (Gerry), J. D. — Company G, 5th Mass Cavalry (Sergeant)
Bolden, Alfred — Company C, 43rd USCT
Bush, Dennie — Company D, 32nd USCT
Cephas, William — Company D, 55th USCT
Cunningham, H. N. — Company D, 8th USCT
Cunningham, John — Company D, 22nd USCT
Fisher, Daniel — Company H, 32nd USCT
Fisher, George — Company E, 54th Mass
Howard, Charles J. — Company I, 54th USCT (Corporal)
Howard, R. B. — Company H, 54th Mass.
Ines, James — Company E, 8th USCT (Corporal)
Jackson, David — Company I, 43rd USCT
Jackson, Edward — Company A, 39th USCT
Jackson, George W. — Company A, 32nd USCT
Johnson, William N. — Company B, 127th USCT
Kelley, Samuel
Mason, William — “1st Enlistment Period”
McFarland, David — Company A, 22nd USCT (Corporal)
McFarland, John — Company B, 22nd USCT (Corporal)
Parker, Abram — Company C, 25th USCT
Parker, Robert Alfred — Company B, 24th USCT (Sergeant)
Peck, John G. — Company I, 25th USCT
Robinson, John — Company A, 32nd USCT (Corporal)
Smith, Harrison — Company B, 31st USCT
Spradley, Henry W. — Company G, 24th USCT
Strange, William — Company C, 24th USCT
Stubbs, Nathaniel — Rev. in USCT
Talton, Jesse — Company F, 31st USCT
Taylor, Bryon L. — Battery E, 31st Field Artillery
Washington, Alexander — Company B, 127th USCT
Washington, George — Company E, 5th Mass Cavalry
Welcome, James — Company E, 8th USCT
Williams, James O. — Company I, 5th USCT

http://centralpahallowedgrounds.blogspot.com/2010/10/carlisle-lincoln-cemetery-memorial-park.html
http://cumberlandcivilwar.com/primary-source-collection-lincoln-cemetery/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/housedivided/sets/72157626172356464/with/5549825047/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/elizabethe/sets/72157626384866617/with/5624678622/
http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/33463
http://cumberlandcivilwar.com/?s=lincoln+cemetery
http://cumberlandcivilwar.com/carlisle-map/
http://blogs.dickinson.edu/hist-304pinsker/2011/03/11/cchs-primary-documents/

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