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Mercersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Zion Union Cemetery

 
 
Zion Union Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Robert H. Moore, II, November 20, 2010
1. Zion Union Cemetery Marker
Inscription.  
Eighty-eight African Americans from Mercersburg volunteered to defend the Union during the Civil War. At least 36 of those veterans lie in Mercersburg Zion Union Cemetery, established in 1876 by local Black citizens.

By 1850 Mercersburg had 26 freedman households. Many former slaves worked in skilled trades as carpenters, carriage builders, blacksmiths, and quarrymen. A smaller squatter community west of town was known as Africa. An active Underground Railroad functioned throughout the area, and Africa, a few miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line, was a haven for freedmen and escaped slaves.

In 1863, when African Americans were given the opportunity to join the Union Army, many men from both communities answered the call. Forty-four Blacks from the Mercersburg area enlisted in either the 54th or 55th Massachusetts Infantry. Forty-four others joined various United States Colored Troops (USCT) units. Veterans known to be buried in Zion Union Cemetery represent the following Pennsylvania USCT regiments: 8th, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 32nd, 41st, and 127th. Additionally, the 54th Massachusetts, 55th Massachusetts, and the 2nd U.S.
Zion Union Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 22, 2012
2. Zion Union Cemetery Marker
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Colored Cavalry are included. The twelve soldiers from the 54th Massachusetts interred here, constitutes one of the largest known groups from that unit buried in a private cemetery.

(Photo Captions):
54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Recruitment Poster; Courtesy of the Army Heritage and Education Center.

Photograph of Thomas McCullough buried in Zion Union Cemetery. Courtesy of Betty Stenger.
 
Erected by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1876.
 
Location. 39° 49.547′ N, 77° 54.23′ W. Marker is in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, in Franklin County. Marker is on North Main Street (Route 16), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mercersburg PA 17236, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mercersburg (within shouting distance of this marker); Mercersburg Borough (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); James Buchanan (about 700 feet away); John Darby, Lot 14, 1786 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ambush at Mercersburg
William H. Carney-Center Photo-Grave marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, June 8, 2001
3. William H. Carney-Center Photo-Grave marker
William H. Carney was a Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient. He was awarded the medal for action at Fort Wagner SC on July 18, 1863. He served as a Sergeant Co. C, 54th Mass Colored Infantry. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford MA.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); The Irwin House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Col. Murphy's Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Mercersburg Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mercersburg.
 
Also see . . .  African American Historic Sites of Mercerberg. Explore Franklin County PDF (Submitted on February 20, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Zion Union Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Robert H. Moore, II, November 20, 2010
4. Zion Union Cemetery Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 17, 2011, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 966 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 17, 2011, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   2. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   3. submitted on June 1, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   4. submitted on July 17, 2011, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Aug. 13, 2022