CARNEGIE (KDKA) — Battered gravestones, their inscriptions faded, mark the Chartiers Cemetery plot in Carnegie where 133 Union veterans are laid to rest.
The site receives a visit from Joseph Hoesch and Martin Neamon, GAR re-enactors with the Thomas Espy Post of Carnegie.
When they visited Civil War cemetery site on a grey day in November of 2010, Hoesch says, “We came upon the stones, and it was probably the most depressing thing I have ever seen. For someone who has an interest in the Civil War to see something like this really is heart-wrenching.”
The two Vietnam era veterans pledged to raise $15,000 to reset and in some cases replace those weathered stones.
“The good news,” Neamon says, “is we have raised $8,000 so far. We need another seven.”
There are two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients buried here. One is Captain James Carey. Just a few rows up the hill, is the grave of the other – African-American Sergeant James Bronson who took control of his company after the white officers were killed or wounded.
All of these men will soon be honored in the manner they deserve.
“They can’t speak for themselves,” Hoesch concludes. “Very few family members are left. We’re their voices now. If we don’t speak for them, who will?”
Those wishing to contribute to the restoration of the Civil War site in Chartiers Cemetery should send donations to:
9th Pennsylvania Reserves
300 Beechview Avenue
Carnegie, PA 15106