Headstone dedication for Civil War Union graves – the Tribune


More than a century after their deaths, two Civil War Union soldiers were buried in anonymous graves at the late WD Kelley Cemetery in Ironton.

However, thanks to the Lytle Camp Project Committee, they will now have gravestones, which will be dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday, May 29.

The cemetery is adjacent to US Route 52, just northwest of the Route 141 exit.

Pvt. John Evans, is the great-great-grandfather of Lawrence McCullough, camp chaplain for the Camp Lytle Project Committee.

Evans, who served in C Company, 27th US Colored Infantry, died after the war on September 1, 1904.

Pvt. Jefferson Finley is McCullough’s great-great-great-uncle and Evans’s brother-in-law.

Finley, who served in B Company, 27th US Colored Infantry, died Jan.5, 1887.

The 27th US Colored Infantry was organized at Camp Delaware, Ohio from January 16, 1864 and was active until September 21, 1865. It was one of two black regiments raised primarily in Ohio. They had a distinguished and honorable record of service during the last year of the war. Their honor roll shows 18 combat deaths and 149 hospital deaths as a result of illnesses or injuries received in combat.

The agenda for the program is as follows:

• 2:00 p.m. – Commemoration ceremony at WD Kelly cemetery

• 3:00 pm – Guest speaker, Dr. Kelly D. Mezurek, will present at the Armory Smokehouse in the Banquet / Meeting Room.

Mezurek is professor of history at Walsh University and author of the book “In Their Own Cause: America’s 27th Color Troops.” As it turns out, Mezurek has ancestors from Ironton and Lawrence County and has a great-great-great-grandfather, George LeMasters, who served in the 13th WV Infantry and was killed in the war.

• 4 pm-6pm – The banquet / meeting is reserved for food and drinks. Customers can order from the menu at their own expense.

All events are free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly recommended for the guest speaker and meals in the Armory Smokehouse’s private room. If the room is full, due to COVID-19 restrictions, no one else can be admitted. To make a reservation, please send an email to [email protected] with name, phone number, email address and number of guests.

Funding for this part of the program was made possible by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Donations to support this specific project and program can be made to “Lytle Camp No. 10, SUVCW”, with “Grave Marking 2021” on the memo line, and mailed to: James H. Houston, Treasurer, PO Box 386 , Milford, OH 45150

The Camp Lytle Project Committee is made up of Dennis M. Brown, Camp Photographer, Former Camp Commander, D. Scott Freeman, Camp Patriotic Instructor, and Lawrence McCullough, Camp Chaplain and Descendant.

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