Tuesday, June 07, 2011

News---Memorial Day, The Grand Army of the Republic, and Saving Gravestones

Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves, Company A is a Civil War reenactment unit based in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania metropolitan region. Located in the Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie Pennsylvania, the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves serves the Thomas Espy Grand Army of the Republic post which is located on the second floor of the library building. The Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves, Company A was founded in 1981. CWL joined the unit in 1993. The Ninth is heavily committed to education, preservation, authentic campaigning, and the National Park's understanding of visitor education. Along with the Pennsylvania Reserve Division, a reenactment unit coalition, the Ninth lives three days a year at Gettysburg National Military Park and performs public education at the Pennsylvania Monument.

Marty Neaman and Joe Hesh, two members of the Ninth, have volunteered for the past several years to aid in the preservation of the Thomas Espy Post on the second floor of the Carnegie Free Library, Carnegie, Pennsylvania. The picture to the left show Marty and Joe with the Thomas Espy Post Flag. The event is the Memorial Day Parade in Carnegie. Joe is to the left and Marty is the flag bearer.

Richard Williams, drummer in the Ninth and a new recruit are in front of the rank. A volley has just been fired during the Bridgeville, Pennsylvania parade. The drummers and fifers make the audience aware of forthcoming volleys. Mind the babies' ears and the pets! Photograph is taken by CWL, the color sergeant during parades.

At the Chartiers Cemetery over 100 Civil War gravestones were beneath or at the surface of the sod. Many were members of the Thomas Espey GAR Post or members of the United States Colored Troops. The burials have been identified and funds are being raised to purchase new stones and set them into place. In the photograph to the left, members of the Ninth Pennsylvania fire volleys over the grave of William H.H. Lea whose gravestone and that of his wife were at the surface of the sod. 95% of the gravestones were covered by soil. The black lines on the backs of the gravestones are the marks left by topsoil as the gravestones sank and then sank deeper into the ground.

Within three months, the stones were identified and lifted out of the soil. In this picture the black triangle contains a photograph of William H.H. Lea. It was found on Ebay just a week before Memorial Day. It was purchased by Marty Neaman, a member of the Ninth. Both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review have featured the work of Marty Neaman and Josh Hesh regarding the recovery and restoration of the Union veterans' gravestones.

Check out the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's 'Cemetery Holds City's' Civil War History' and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review's Duo Counting On Private Donors To Replace Civil War Headstones
Duo Counting On Private Donors To Replace Civil War Headstones'.

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