“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Bern in Craven County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Greenwood Cemetery

Historic Burial Site

Greenwood Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, August 14, 2014
1. Greenwood Cemetery Marker
Greenwood Cemetery, established in 1882 on the grounds of an earlier cemetery, is New Bern’s second-oldest public cemetery and the first city-owned cemetery for African Americans. Thirteen grave markers are dated between 1816 and 1859. At least five men who served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War are buried here, as well as prominent African American legislator of the postwar period, James Edward O’Hara.

O’Hara was born in New York City on February 26, 1844, the son of an Irish merchant and a West Indian mother. He sailed on vessels between the city and the West Indies as a youth, then settled in New Bern about 1862 and taught in freedman’s schools here and in Goldsboro after the war. He was elected to the state legislature from here in 1868, while studying law, and passed the bar examination in 1871. O’Hara represented North Carolina’s Second District in the U.S. Congress from 1883 to 1887, and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1884. While in Congress, he was a member of the House Committees for Pensions, Mines and Mining, and Expenditures on Public Buildings. He spoke against racial
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violence, introduced one of the first bills to make lynching a federal crime, and tried but failed to amend an interstate commerce bill to require equal accommodations for all travelers.

After O’Hara lost his bid for reelection in 1886, he practiced law in New Bern with his son Raphael and published a small newspaper, the Enfield Progress. He died on September 15, 1905, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

At least five men who served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War are buried here. They include Thomas Fisher, Co. C, 38th USCT, which fought in Virginia in 1864 and occupied Richmond in 1865; Payton White, Battery A, and Cornelius W. Jones, Battery B, 14th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, which was organized nearby; Jonas McDonald, Battery B, 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery, which served in Virginia and Texas from 1864 to 1866; and William A. Wood, 20th USCT, which served in Louisiana and Texas between 1864 and 1866.

Major funding for this project was provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation through the Transportation Enhancement Program of the Federal Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21th Century.

(upper left) James Edward O’Hara Courtesy North Carolina Office of Archives and History
(lower center) An unidentified
Greenwood Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, August 14, 2014
2. Greenwood Cemetery Marker
U.S.C.T. enlisted man - Courtesy Library of Congress
(right) U.S. Colored Troops charging a Confederate fortification Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesGovernment & PoliticsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1360.
Location. 35° 6.881′ N, 77° 2.814′ W. Marker is in New Bern, North Carolina, in Craven County. Marker is at the intersection of Cypress Street and Smith Street, on the right when traveling west on Cypress Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 810 Cypress Street, New Bern NC 28560, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cedar Grove Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles away); King Solomon Lodge (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Peter's A.M.E. Zion Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); William Henry Singleton (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ebenezer Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); New Bern Academy (approx. 0.4 miles away); James Walker Hood (approx. half a mile away); Political Duel (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bern.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 557 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 8, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 29, 2023