At least 28 African-American Civil War veterans are buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, according to Kathleen Heyworth’s Private Lewis Martin and African-American Civil War Soldiers in Springfield, Illinois (2015).
The following list, taken from Heyworth’s research, lists each soldier by name, regiment, company and grave location. (Private Lewis Martin includes more information on each individual.)
Regimental designations refer to the U.S. Colored Troops (infantry), Colored Cavalry or Colored Artillery. Burials at Oak Ridge originally were segregated by race; cemetery blocks 5 and 24 were designated for African-Americans. “GAR Mound” refers to the Grand Army of the Republic Mound, located north of the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site; some veterans of both races are buried there.
Thomas Blakeman, 123rd Regt., Co. C; GAR Mound
Joseph Blankenship, 108thRegt. Co. C; GAR Mound
Richard Carroll, 29th Regt., Co. D; Block 5 (west side of road)
James Clark, 29th Regt., Co. C; Block 5
Lawson Clay, 59th Regt., Co. C; GAR Mound
David Curtis, 29th Regt., Co. A; Block 24
Franklin Davis, 59th Regt., Co. G; Block 5
Frederick Douglass, 6th Cavalry, Co. D; GAR Mound
Clark Duncan, 6th Cav., Co B; Block 5
William Freeman, 29th Regt., Co. F; Block 5 (unmarked grave)
Augustus George, 55th Mass., Co. G; Block 24
Daniel Jacobs, 59th Regt., Co. F; GAR Mound
Aaron Jenkins, 59th Regt., Co. C; Block 5 (north of road)
Franklin Jenkins, 28th Regt., Co. A; GAR Mound
Wyatt Johnson, 27th Regt., Co. K; Block 24
Alexander Lewis, 59th Regt., Co. L, GAR Mound
Lewis Martin, 29th Regt., Co. E; Block 5 (west side of road)
Joseph Maxwell, 29th Regt., Co. E; GAR Mound
Austin Sanders, 59th Regt., Co. H; Block 24
Silas Sappington, 55th Mass., Co. D; Block 24
Benjamin See, 55th Mass., Co. D, GAR Mound
Moses Smith, 12th Artillery, Co. L; Block 5
Robert Turner, 8th Artillery, Co. G; Block 24
Henry Vantreece, 29th Regt., Co. A; Block 24
Joseph White, 51st Regt., Co. A; Block 5 (west side of road)
Samuel Williams, 18th Regt., Block C; Block 24
Robert Woods, 56th Regt., Co. A; Block 24
Arthur Young, 29th Regt., Co. C; Block 24
Hat tip: This list was first published in Private Lewis Martin and African-American Civil War Soldiers in Springfield, Illinois, by Kathleen Heyworth (2015). Copyright Kathleen Heyworth; reprinted by permission.
Heyworth also played a key role in the placement of a gravestone and historical marker on Martin’s previously unmarked grave at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Our thanks to Heyworth for bringing the book to our attention. Private Lewis Martin is available at Prairie Archives bookstore on the Old Capitol Plaza in Springfield at $10 per copy. The book is $12 (postpaid) directly from Heyworth; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.