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History

Since the early 1800s, the Union of Churches Cemetery has served all Waterford denominations (albeit segregated into black and white sections), other than the Quakers. Both Union and Confederate veterans lie here.

civil war african american gravestone
African American Civil War gravestone

The Union Cemetery was laid out early in the nineteenth century and was strictly segregated, with the black section to the rear. Both sections contain fine marble monuments, but many African Americans could afford no more than a roughly flat stone brought in from some field, or just a wooden marker that quickly weathered away. The resulting gaps in the rows testify eloquently to the inequalities of the day.

Stones of three black veterans of the Civil War have been discovered. These veterans were likely to have been wagonneers, while one designates the grave of James Lewis (born 1844) who traveled to Pittsburgh during the war where he joined the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, a white-led black unit like the famous 54th that was Immortalized in the film, Glory.

The while cemetery contains the remains of at least twelve Union soldiers (including several who served in the Waterford-based Loudoun Rangers, the only organized troops from Virginia to fight for the Union), at least five Confederates, and one veteran of the Spanish-American War.

A wreath laying ceremony takes place during the Waterford Fair in October.