We toured Mt. Olive Cemetery on Sunday, September 26, 2001. Here's some interesting facts: - Largest African American burial grounds in Clarksville - ~1350 souls interred from 1817-1958 - ~ 30 US Colored Troops who served in the Union Army during the Civil War
If you are interested in exploring the history of Clarksville from a new perspective, or like exploring genealogy and the family stories which are revealed, contact Tyler Nolting to learn how we can build new relationships and be a part of this experience! Cemetery Clean-Up DaysEvery Tuesday, at 3 p.m. More information on this organization can be found at: https://mtolivechps.weebly.com/.
On June 18, 2022, they held the unveiling ceremony of the US Colored Troops Monument at Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center in Clarksville. Here are the reflections shared by one of our members who attended this event . . . . I saw the unveiling ceremony of the U.S. Colored Troops Monument at Fort Defiance scheduled in the newsletter from two weeks ago and decided to attend. In the interest of continuing to "un-mute myself", I thought I would write a few reflections I had from my attendance. The ceremony included a performance of the National Anthem by Nettie J. Thomas -Women Veterans of America Ch 47, speeches and recognitions by local elected officials including Mayor of Clarksville Joe Pitts and City Councilman Joe Shakeenab, as well as artistic performances. Much was spoken of the historical context of the Contraband Camps established in this community and the contributions of laborers and those that were signed to federal service in the United States Colored Infantry. For more information, please visit https://ftdefianceclarksville.com/history/black-clarksvillians-during-the-civil-war/. In my service to the United States Armed Forces I've only known an organization that accepts people of all races and creeds to share in the defense of our great nation. I witnessed the repeal of DADT, and I can say that I'm glad our organization is able to see beyond individuality and work together to prevail in conflicts across the globe. I have learned a lot from people of many different backgrounds and can't imagine missing out on those opportunities because of what I see as arbitrary categorizations of my fellow human beings. I'm very glad that I'm also part of a greater church that continues to welcome such a diverse following and invites them to receive God's grace not because of who they are, but because of who He is. This ceremony was a great reminder during the Juneteenth weekend that we are all free and equal and of what we can accomplish when we come together. Although the pandemic amongst other things has separated many of us, I'm encouraged to remember what it's like to be part of a community. And because God's work happens both inside and outside the walls of a church, I would encourage others to engage and explore also. From the gruff construction worker I witnessed teaching an elderly woman how to use the local laundromat to the fun and powerful arts that take place within Clarksville, it is all beautiful to behold. Fort Defiance will host Music at the Fort on 25 June from 10am - 2pm with John Marlin Rood and his String Band to play popular Civil War era music. Economist Adam Smith, also born this past week in history, who authored: The Theory of Moral Sentiments is quoted as saying, "Hatred and anger are the greatest poison to the happiness of a good mind". With an atmosphere of recognition and healing, I'll leave you with a link to the music video for the live performance of "Fighting For Their Day" by Michael Rix we were treated to in closing the ceremony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvP9pheIC0k.