Civil War Sacrifices Remembered At Brooklyn Cemetery
Thousands of Civil War veterans buried at Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery are being honored this weekend as the nation marks 150 years since the conflict's first shots were fired. NY1's Erica Ferrari filed the following report.
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Candles marked the graves of the 4,600 Civil War veterans laid to rest at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn Sunday, including 18 Civil War generals -- more than any other cemetery except Arlington and West Point.
"This is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. And so we would like to commemorate the service of the men who are buried here. Men here were killed in battle, battled disease, paid the ultimate price for the service to their country, lost arms and legs," said cemetery historian Jeff Richman.
A parade marched up the hill to the soldiers' graves while re-enactors gathered in a mock union encampment where actors shared stories of Civil War hardships to educate visitors.
"At that time the army did not believe they had any obligation to return a dead soldier, And the women would go down to the battlefields after they learned of the deaths of their husbands or their fathers or their brothers or sons and they would demand help in getting their loved ones home," said one re-enactor.
Inside Green-Wood's historic chapel, visitors can take a trip back in time with a multi-media exhibit with artifacts and photos.
"I wanted to come on the 150th anniversary to support those Americans who were involved in this conflict, it was the biggest conflict ever in the history of the United States, bigger than any other combination of wars we ever had," said one visitor.
"You can compare it to going to the Arizona memorial. You can hear a pin drop, it's just the history that's inside the cemetery. I went to high school on the other side of the cemetery so we were always taking a ride down into it or walking through it sometimes," said another visitor.
Other than serving as New York's Civil War headquarters, Green-Wood is also known for the dozens of notable Americans interred on its grounds, including composer Leonard Bernstein and telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse.
Festivities at Green-Wood Cemetery continue Monday, including more reenactments and a concert.
For more information, visit www.green-wood.com.