March 2, 2012

African American, Civil War Soldier Cemetery in Need of Help

Mount Peace Cemetery in New Jersey was established in 1900 as a burial ground for African American soldiers as cemeteries were still segregated. There are 77 African American Civil War veterans interred in the cemetery including Landsmen John Lawson, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. In 1952, a fire destroyed all of the records leaving no guide to the plots. The location of Lawson is not known.

This cemetery is overgrown and  by volunteers.
Another blogger, Ed at The Cemetery Traveler describes the cemetery in detail: "Scores of graves litter the forest. Toppled and sunken headstones are easy to trip over, as many are not obvious poking through the wildflowers and vines. Treading among the stones I couldn’t help wonder why people would lose interest in a cemetery, in their own history. How do you just forget about all these people who died? The untended area was shadowy and packed with ghostly stillness, even as daylight filtered through the leaves above."

To help contact the Lawnside Historical Society.


  1. It is sad to hear about a cemetery falling into disrepair. I hope the place is restored and preserved; the people buried there do deserve more respect than this.

  2. Normally people are very anxious to help with Civil War cemeteries. Sometimes the smaller cemeteries just get forgotten as families move away.

  3. I recently went to visit Mount Peace Cemetery and it is very overgrown and could take many of years to restore and clean up. However, if they can get many people involved and come together as a community, they will succeed in saving this cemetery and restoring it.

  4. A clean up took place this past Sunday at Mount Peace Cemetery. A lot was accomplished, thanks to the people who helped out. Hopefully, more people will volunteer at our next clean-up.

  5. That's great, Paul! Maybe they could add it to the list of CWT's Park Clean-up Day:


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