Friday, November 11, 2011

The Soldiers Lot

In honor of Veterans Day...

The Albany Rural Cemetery is the final resting place of veterans from all eras of American history, from the Revolutionary War (and prior) to Iraq.

Consecrated less than twenty years before the Civil War, it would naturally become the burial ground for scores of Union soldiers. Nearly 159 of them are buried in the Soldiers Lot on the North Ridge.

This large lot was donated to the federal government in 1862 by the Albany Cemetery Association which resolved that “a sufficient and suitable ground be set apart to inter the remains of officers and soldiers who have fallen or may fall in endeavoring to suppress the present rebellion.”

Many of the soldiers buried here came from local military hospitals, though some had been transferred from graves in the South. Some were provided for soldiers whose families could not afford to bury them in private plots.

The orderly rows of white marble stones face a fine monument of a solider at parade rest. The granite pedestal bears plaques (cast from captured cannons) with the names of over six hundred local men who fought in the Union army and an oval relief of Abraham Lincoln (the laurel wreath surrounding President Lincoln has vanished and is presumed stolen).

2014 Update:  Restoration work on the headstones is nearly completed 
The Soldiers Monument ca 1900

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