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black civil war veterans cleveland

CLEVELAND – People in Cleveland have honored scores of black men who served in the Civil War and then were largely forgotten.

Hundreds gathered Monday for a Memorial Day observance at the city’s Woodland Cemetery, where 86 black Civil War veterans are buried. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reports many of the graves don’t have headstones.

Historian Paul LaRue tells the newspaper Cleveland was a prime recruiting area when the Union sought blacks to bolster its ranks. He says about 5,000 black soldiers from Ohio fought in the war.

Woodland Cemetery Foundation President Michelle Day says a volunteer is working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to get headstones for all 86 of the graves. She says the men were members of what was known as the U.S. Colored Troops.

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