Pennsylvania Grand Review

Honoring African American Patriots 1865 / 2010

Zion Hill Cemetery – Columbia, PA

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This cemetery is the final resting place of many soldiers who fought with the Black Company from Columbia during the Civil War. This company fought against Confederate troops advancing along the Wrightsville-Columbia Bridge. Among those buried at Zion Hill is Robert Loney, a Civil War soldier and conductor on the Underground Railroad whose own family was among the first group of slaves freed in the early 1800s.

A member of the conservation team noted:

  • “The final resting place of these men and others has been reclaimed from the desecration of highway construction, water company thruways, and the elements of abandoned land; thickets of thistles, high weeds and trees. Saved by caring Boy Scouts, African American church leaders, community leaders and Park Rangers, and finally by virtue of being an abandoned burial ground within the town limits, the Borough of Columbia. Zion Hill Cemetery is being saved because the memory and final resting place of those buried there, especially the men of the famous 54th Mass. regiment, who were trailblazers in a war to prove that they were equal to the task of fighting for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, deserves to be preserved and celebrated. It also should be noted that Stephen Swails, the first African American officer in U. S. history, earned his commission in the 54th Mass. Regiment battle at Ft. Wagner in Charleston, SC, was born in Columbia, PA.”

5th & Linden Streets
Columbia, PA, 17512

(Courtesy of Pennsylvania Civil War Trails)

Posted in Hallowed Grounds Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 at 3:43 am.

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