Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fighting for Freedom

Mount Zion Community Cemetery

 
 
Fighting for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
1. Fighting for Freedom Marker
Inscription. Four African American Civil War veterans are buried in this cemetery: James Gaskins (39th U.S. Colored Infantry), Joseph Waters (5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry), William Taylor (1st U.S. Colored Infantry), and John W. Langford (U.S. Navy). The first three were among the nearly 200,000 African Americans who served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War - a number representing 10 percent of the total number of Federal troops. Langford, who served aboard the USS Fuschia and the USS Wyandank, was among thousands of African Americans who constituted an estimated 16 percent of the U.S. Navy's manpower.

The four veterans buried here served in units that saw action in numerous battles in 1863-1865. Gaskins fought at Boydton Plank Road (Oct. 1864), other actions in the Richmond-Petersburg campaign, and at Fort Fisher in North Carolina (Dec. 1864-Jan. 1865). Waters's regiment served in the Siege of Petersburg. Taylor's regiment fought at Chaffin's Farm and New Market Heights (September 1864), around Petersburg, and at Fort Fisher. Langford's vessels in the Potomac Flotilla disrupted Confederate shipping. The men's headstones are reminders of the hundreds of African Americans from Loudoun County who served the Union cause. They fought to bring an end to more than two hundred years of slavery in the United States
Map showing other selected cemeteries in Loudoun image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
2. Map showing other selected cemeteries in Loudoun
African American Civil War veterans are also buried in other Loudoun County cemeteries, including Rock Hill (Unison), Union (Waterford), Grace Annex (Lincoln), Pleasant Valley (Hamilton), and Mt. Sinai (Britain).
and to liberate the four million men, women, and children who were enslaved at the time of the war. Afterwards Gaskins, Waters, Taylor, and Langford became respected citizens in Leesburg's African American community.
 
Erected 2014 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 7.096′ N, 77° 33.972′ W. Marker is in Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Waterford Road and North Street NW, on the right when traveling south on Old Waterford Road. Click for map. Located to the right (north) of the entrance gate to Mt. Zion Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Leesburg VA 20176, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory of Richard Owings (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ealry Methodism in Leesburg (about 400 feet away); Lee Comes to Leesburg (about 700 feet away); Old Stone Church Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Loudoun County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1862 Antietam Campaign (approx. mile away); Leesburg (approx. mile away); Loudoun County Court Square (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Leesburg.
 
Additional keywords.
Tombstones of the four veterans image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
3. Tombstones of the four veterans
From left to right: James Gaskins (3rd row), William Taylor (3rd row), John W. Langford (13th row), and Joseph Waters (14th row). Location of graves (left side from gate entrance)
USCT
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
 
U.S. Colored Troops in Virginia image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
4. U.S. Colored Troops in Virginia
Courtesy Library of Congress
Unidentified African American sailor image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
5. Unidentified African American sailor
Library of Congress
Fighting for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
6. Fighting for Freedom Marker
With the cemetery in the background.
Fighting for Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
7. Fighting for Freedom Marker
Grave of John W. Langford image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
8. Grave of John W. Langford
Grave of William Taylor image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
9. Grave of William Taylor
Grave of James Gaskins image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
10. Grave of James Gaskins
Grave of Joseph Waters image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2014
11. Grave of Joseph Waters
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 361 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement