Burial site of Gettysburg's African American citizens and Civil War veterans. In keeping with the laws and customs of the times, African American veterans were denied the honor of being buried in the National Cemetery.
Segregated even in death, there are some thirty members of the US Colored Troops buried here. These brothers who fought for freedom and the Union were finally laid to rest with honor and dignity.
Here you'll find Lloyd Watts who enlisted in the US Colored Troops in 1865 and was later promoted to Sargent as he helped defend Washington D.C. You'll also find Isaac Buckmaster who served in the 8th U.S. Colored Troops and both he and his brother were wounded in battles fought in the battle of Olustee Florida.
The 8th U.S. Colored Troops, along with other U.S. Colored Troops, were present at General Lee's surrender at the Appomattox courthouse. Not all who are buried here are veterans. Take for example Abraham Bryan, a farmer in Gettysburg who left his land during the battle. Union forces occupied Bryan's farm during Pickett's Charge. After the battle, the Government paid Bryan $15 for damages.
Many of the town's earliest black residents were re-interred when the towns "Colored Cemetery" was cleared in 1906 to provide space for new houses. All totaled, an estimated 198,000 African Americans risked all to fight for their rights, their families and the Union.