Growing up, I always thought these headstones of black Civil War soldiers were in the backyard of a rental property my grandparents owned. More likely, they are in the backyard of the adjoining property, an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cookstown, New Jersey. The words “colored infantry” used to be inscribed on the headstones, but they seem to have faded over time. Back in the early 90s, I called the local VFW and they confirmed that the headstones did in fact belong to black Civil War soldiers. Interestingly, Greenwood and Chambers, the names on two of the stones are also street names in the nearby state capitol, Trenton, New Jersey.
I know I’m a little late for Memorial Day, but I thank these troops and all others for their service. Fittingly, my brother, a chief warrant officer with the army took these pictures.
Check out the amazing handmade gift my cousin, Monique gave me today when she came over for a bar-b-que.
The picture hardly does justice to her ancestor clock. It includes images of things we’ve found during the year that we’ve been on this journey together, decorated with her special flourishes and finished with a ton of love. Originally, she was going to give me the quote in the bottom part of the clock and have it framed, but then she got inspired to give me something that I might one day pass down to my children. I love that she gave me our family history in the face of a clock, something I can share with my family every day, and a constant reminder that my ancestors are always with me informing my future.