Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marking the Civil War Veteran Gravesites

From the May 5th Fresno (Ca) Bee (not sure what year, probably 2008)

Bill Melton of Porterville, California, has been identifying, gathering and collecting personal and family histories of Civil War veterans since 2003 when he saw a re-enactment in Fresno and got bitten by the bug.

He is part of the ongoing National Civil War Burial Survey.

When new markers are needed, the Veterans Administration pay for the marker and the local veterans organization pays to set up the stone. So far, Melton has identified 206 Civil War graves, 166 Union and 40 Confederate.

The grave site of Harrison White of New York is located in old Porterville Cemetery. He joined the Union Army in 1861 at the age of 23 as a private. He rose through the ranks to captain and commanded an all-black infantry unit in Mississippi. Only white men were able to be officers in black units.

Many of the black soldiers went on to become the famous Buffalo Soldiers.

He came to California in 1870.

From the March 27th Historic Happenings: A Visalia History blog.

Bill Melton had by then located 216 Confederate and Union veteran gravesites in Visalia, Three Rivers, Exeter, Farmersville, Porterville, Lindsay and Strathmore.

An Admirable Calling. --Old B-Runner

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