Wednesday, March 30, 2011

150 years later… [Hudson County, NJ] Cemeteries Hold Clues to Lives of Civil War Soldiers


The Civil War still resonates in Hudson County in 2011, 150 years after it began. In the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery and Memorial Park on Newark Avenue, Jersey City native James Madden sees reminders of the conflict on the 300 gravestones of soldiers who served in the various Union forces. And the memory of the war is also present on the Soldier’s Monument that has stood in Stevens Park on Hudson Street in Hoboken since 1888, with the inscription: “Erected by The Citizens of Hoboken In Memory of Their Fallen Heroes 1861 - 1865.”

Lost money and mayoral murder

Edmund Carpenter, the mayor of Hudson City – which consisted of what are now Journal Square and the Heights section of Jersey City – died on Thanksgiving Day 1861 from injuries suffered in a riot started by drunken Union soldiers.

Also, Mayor Orestes Cleveland of Jersey City lost $126,000 of the city’s money (present day value $3.4 million) in 1865 to a “bounty broker” who was supposed to help the city recruit soldiers for the war but who ran off with the cash instead. Cleveland served as mayor until 1867, then won election to the U.S. Congress, followed by another term as Jersey City’s mayor.
Read more: Hudson Reporter - 150 years later… Local cemeteries hold clue to lives of Civil War soldiers


For more on the Civil War, as commemorated in New Jersey, visit www.njcivilwar150.org or e-mail: njcivilwar@aol.com.