News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Cleveland is recognizing its long-unrecognized black Civil War veterans
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument will be inscribed with the names of 140 men who served
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
One hundred and fifty years ago, at the height of the Civil War, Ohio first allowed black men to enlist in its Army regiments. But as of three years ago, many of those men had gone unrecognized for their service. As WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, that is about to change.
Cleveland' black Civil War vets

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:55)


When the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Cleveland’s Public Square was undergoing a renovation three years ago, researcher Jerry Young felt the time was right to recognize Cuyahoga County’s black Civil War vets. The jovial Vietnam vet is a trustee of the monument. And he says they deserve to be remembered for their service, and for the greater risk they faced if captured.

“The best outcome they could possibly have was to be sold back into slavery, or, more than likely, executed on the spot. And that’s the reason why these men need to be honored, because they’re heroes. They knew that going in, that their life was in so much greater peril than their white counterparts. Abraham Lincoln said, ‘If it hadn’t been for these men of color, we’d have very easily lost that war.’”

Young is part of team that last month unveiled the names of 140 Cuyahoga County natives who will be inscribed on the monument. He says that 60 more black Civil War vets are very close to being verified; all that's missing is a service record, discharge papers or perhaps one other piece of information. Another 100 men are being researched right now.

A spiritual connection
Young was at Full Gospel Evangelistic Center on Cleveland's east side over the weekend, for one of many Black History Month presentations about the vets. The church's pastor, the Rev. Otamus Howard, sees their Civil War sacrifice in a religious light.

“I believe it has a lot to do with their innate nature. Truly we were created in God’s own image. And we know that God sacrificed himself for the salvation of many. So to have these courageous men to sacrifice their own lives, it just lines up with who they are.”

Asked why it took so long for a project like this to get underway, Elder Callie Johnson also was spiritual in her outlook.

“You think about people in the Bible; it took years and years. You think about Noah, that it took almost 900 years to build the Ark. Sometimes it just takes patience and persistence -- and in patience, persistence. God will prevail. It takes time and it takes someone who has the heart and desire to (correct and complete) history.”

The Massachusetts connection
An estimated 400,000 black men served as soldiers in the Civil War, and monument trustee Jerry Young says enlistment rolls show nearly 400 men came from Cuyahoga County. Those who tried to enlist before 1863 had to go to Massachusetts, where several units were made up largely of Buckeye transplants. Faced with tracking down these men and their histories, Young considers it a calling.

“I don’t believe in coincidence and I firmly believe God puts us where he wants us. And I think that because of my love for history, Almighty God said, ‘OK, Jerry, check this out. It’s time.’ I really believe that.”

This summer, Young is hoping to host Civil War history tours of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Woodland Cemetery. That's where 63 black Civil War vets are known to be buried. Jerry Young and Michelle Day, from the Woodland Cemetery Foundation, will present more information on Cleveland's Civil War history this weekend at the Western Reserve Historical Society.
(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

Ohio Democratic Party begins the rebuilding process
I agree 100% with Sen. Brown. I think it is absolutely critical for the Democratic Party in Ohio to engage in the long, tedious, hard task of re-building from t...

They're talking again in the Macedonia bridge dispute
Norfolk Southern says the Ledge road bridge meets regulations for train traffic, however it was built as an overpass for a roadway and/or farm usage. I think t...

Cleveland City Council to consider transgender public restroom law
this is sick. I do not want my daughter in the same bathroom as a perverted 45 year old man. this proposed legislation could seriously damage the security of ch...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University