When I first moved here, I wanted to learn more about the small town I had moved to so my in-laws took me on The Elmiran Trolley tour. I think this was one of my favorite things I had done that summer! What an amazing way to learn the history of a town... by driving around and seeing it firsthand. The speaker/driver of the bus was interesting and my mother-in-law even said she learned a couple of new things even though she had been on the tour before. I highly recommend adding it to your list of things to do if you are ever in the Elmira area.
|View of the Civil War Section|
On this tour, we passed by the huge Woodlawn Cemetery and its smaller neighbor, Woodlawn National Cemetery. The driver told a fantastic story about how John W. Jones, a former slave, painstakingly buried Confederate soldiers from the nearby Elmira Prison Camp (also known as "Helmira") with each of their belongings and kept records on each and every one of them. Such care was taken of them that it was decided by the Daughters of the Confederacy to let them rest there and a monument was erected for them. You can read more about John W. Jones and his amazing story at his website John W. Jones Museum.
|Plaque for Civil War Confederate Soldiers|
Between July 1864 and August 1865, 2973
Confederate soldiers were buried here
with kindness and respect, by John W. Jones,
a runaway slave. They have remained in
these hallowed grounds of Woodlawn
National Cemetery by family choice
because of the honorable way in which
they were laid to rest by a caring man.
There are Union soldiers buried here as well and it continues to inter military members. There is an extensive transcribed list at Interment.net as they obtained their information from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Find A Grave also has approximately 8,600 listings for this cemetery, however, only about 1,000 of them have photos attached at this time.
|Flagpole at the center of the cemetery drive.|
|Plaque at the base of the flagpole|
From The Bivouac of the Dead
by Theodore O'Hara
The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tattoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame's eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead.
Here is my Flickr photo album for Woodlawn National Cemetery. Keep checking back as I will continue to add photos to this album.