New Jersey students help clean up cemetery where Civil War soldiers are buried

GLOUCESTER COUNTY, N.J. (WPVI) -- Scores of volunteers armed with a tractor, saws, rakes and other tools converged on a small parcel of land just off Tuckahoe Road in Franklinville in Gloucester County.

Their mission: a one a day blitz operation to clear out heavy brush that surrounded and obscured a once forgotten cemetery.

The space is the final resting place for a number of African American military veterans, including one who served in World War I, another in World War II, and at least three who fought in the American Civil War.

For years Lisa Money and her daughter Faith had been volunteer caretakers. They had learned of the cemetery from a neighbor. For years, a mother and daughter had worked to make the space presentable, clear weeds, keep the grass cut and battle poison ivy.

Today the pair got major help from dozens of students and staff from the Gloucester County Institute of Technology. It was part of an outreach effort by the school's chapter of SkillsUSA, a student organization that as part of its mission, encourages its members to use their skills to help others in their community.

The three Civil War veterans buried were members of United States Colored Troops 22d Regiment--African American soldiers who fought in Virginia, and later were part of Lincoln's funeral procession.

The volunteers who helped clean up the cemetery include workers from the local Lowe's home improvement store. The store donated paint and new plantings around the border of the once neglected cemetery.

Lisa Money says it does not appear the cemetery was ever given a name. She is planning on having a formal naming ceremony on the morning of June 1.

The name will be "The Buffalo Soldiers, United States Colored Troops, 22nd Regiment Cemetery." It is located in Franklinville at the intersection of Tuckahoe Rd and Sheridan Ave.
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