Civil War Veterans Remembered

Monday, May 26th 2008, 5:42 pm
By: News On 6

In Tulsa's Rose Hill Cemetery, a memorial that was a century-and-a-half in the making was dedicated.

The News On 6's Dan Bewley reports Memorial Day was founded three years after the Civil War to honor Union veterans. On Monday morning, those veterans received another honor, 143 years after fighting for their country.

"My great-great-great grandfather, Samuel C. Carter, was a member of the 5th Tennessee Infantry," said Bernie Cooper.

"My great-great grandfather was from Ohio," said John Williams.

A nine-and-a-half foot monument now honors those men.

"I get a lump in my throat, yes it is. And I get chills up my back," said Williams.

Williams' great-great grandfather joined an Ohio volunteer unit when he was 32-years-old.

"Their first major battle was the Battle of Shiloh," said Williams.

He was wounded in the battle but survived. After the war he joined the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization founded to help Union veterans recover from the horrors of war.

"These men had no food, very little clothing. They were gone three and four years," said Cooper.

Around 10,000 Union soldiers are buried in Oklahoma, most of them west of I-35, but 34 Civil War veterans have their final resting place in Rose Hill.

Men like Albert Niles from the Ohio 55th, G.A.R member Amos Smith, or Dr. H.P. Newlon whose grave marker credits him with founding Tulsa; he actually opened the small town's first pharmacy.

"It's hard to remember them. But as we remember all veteran, we want to especially remember these because they helped preserve the Union during the Civil War," said monument designer Gene Turner.

The monument cost $8,000 to build. The money was raised through private donations. It was built to replicate Civil War monuments that were built in the early 1900's.

Besides the 10,000 Union soldiers, it's believed there are 8,000 Confederate soldiers buried in Oklahoma.