African American gravestone in the Waterford Union of Churches Cemetery in Loudoun County Virginia

African American gravestone of Mary Kennedy

History

Since 1820, the Waterford Union of Churches Cemetery has served all Waterford denominations (albeit segregated into black and white sections), other than the Quakers. It was jointly established by local churches as seen in its name, Union of Churches. Both Union and Confederate veterans lie here.

Gravestone of Sgt. Anderson of the Loudoun Rangers in Waterford VA

Gravestone of Sgt. Anderson of the Loudoun Rangers

The 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 African American 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, an African American  unit, like the famous 54th, that was Immortalized in the film, Glory.

The 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 every October during the Waterford Fair.

Read how volunteers saved the cemetery.

Trustees
Paul Rose, President
Linda Landreth, Treasurer
Edward Lehmann, Secretery
Bronwen Souders, Historian
Ann Belland
Waterford Foundation
Volunteers saved the Cemetery


Past Trustees
Bob Thompson
Ken Dunne
Ed Good
Sherry Satin
Evelyn Godfrey
Kevin Chadwick
Bruce Cleveland
George E. Bentley
John E. Devine
Douglas N. Myers
Louis M. McGavack
J. Reid Mays

Headstone of James Lewis of Waterford virginia

Headstone of James Lewis of Waterford