Cincinnati City Council getting answers about 7 unmarked veteran graves

CINCINNATI - On Wednesday, Cincinnati City Council will find out more about seven unmarked graves for Civil War veterans at Wesleyan Cemetery in Northside.

Seven African-American Civil War veterans are laid to rest at the cemetery, located at 4003 Colerain Ave., without grave markers.

A federal regulation prevents the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs from providing grave markers unless a "next-of-kin" applies for them. Under the relatively new requirement, set into effect in 2009, a descendant must apply for a veteran's grave marker.

Finding descendants for veterans dead for more than a century is challenging for the Geneology Department of Hamilton County's Public Library.  They've been working with City Councilmember Cecil Thomas on researching the veterans for the last year after Mendle Adams from the Masonic Lodge brought the issue to light.

As early as 1950, problems were beginning to arise with unmarked and mismarked graves. Wesleyan's latest problems have involved missing funds earmarked for the upkeep of the grounds.

There are veterans of every war the United States has fought buried at Wesleyan Cemetery. Researchers found descendants for two of the seven Civil War Veterans but questions still remain about the other five.

The Genealogy Department at the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library will present their research findings Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers.

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