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  • Writer's pictureKyra Mangold-Ostovich

Soldiers Circle Update: June 19, 2021

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

We are pleased to announce that three of the eight replacement markers have been installed within the Soldiers Circle!

This first installment included markers for:

  1. Rev. Samuel Giffenney, Private, of Company B within the 45th United States Colored Infantry

  2. William J. Stroup, Sergeant, of Company C within the 103rd PA Infantry

  3. James Hart, Private, of Company E within the 155th PA Infantry

Today, on the first federally observed holiday of Juneteenth, it was our privilege to honor Rev. Samuel Giffenney, a Civil War veteran, as one of the first veterans in the Soldiers Circle to receive a new marker.

Rev. Giffenney was a member of the 45th United States Colored Infantry. This regiment, formed in 1864, was composed of black men who had been born free and others who had been formerly enslaved, but had been freed prior to their enlistment with the Union Army and the United States Colored Troops. The primary states of residence of the men who fought with this regiment were New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The 45th USCI, Rev. Giffenney's group, was proudly present at the Appomattox Courthouse upon the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

An enormous amount of thanks is due to Mr. Ellis Michaels, one of the Cemetery volunteers, for his time and expertise in helping us remove and reinstall the markers, and to Mr. Frank Jastrzembski of Shrouded Veterans for his help in coordinating the appropriate information to accompany the applications for replacement markers for these soldiers. Special thanks are also sent to local historians John and Linda Asmonga, who spent many afternoons sifting through records, newspapers, and more in an effort to learn the names of the veterans buried within the Circle. Their work allowed us to keep the legacy of these men alive. Thank you; without your help, this project would not have been able to continue!

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