June 15, 2012 | Back to: News

Civil War headstone dedication ceremony to be formal, historic affair

TRUCKEE, Calif. — As in any historical cemetery, there are those who have unmarked graves at Sierra Mountain Cemetery in Truckee. There are elaborate and simple monuments, wooden crosses for others.

All of the marked show the names and dates of the lives of those resting in peace, but it's the “dash in between” that makes us curious. Who were these people and how did they get to Truckee? What did they do in their lives?

Military markers help shed light on what some of these pioneers were in their lives. These markers show the dedication to our country, enough to fight in a battle and risk losing their lives to keep this country free. This is not to slight all those who fought for this country using different avenues, but seeing a military marker often makes a person take pause.

The Truckee Cemetery District has dedicated its cause to the preservation of the three historical cemeteries within its scope. Although there are two historical sections in the Sierra Mountain Cemetery, they are within their own right separate and equal cemeteries. The Odd Fellows and the Masons purchased land in 1873 and opened the first true cemeteries in the Truckee area in 1874. The original land plot was 200 feet x 225 feet. The south section was used by Odd Fellows and the section to the north by the Masons.

The third area, known now as the “Catholic” Cemetery, was also created in the same time era. Its official name is “The Old Truckee Cemetery.” It began its use for those who could not be buried, either by beliefs or financial reasons, into the upper cemetery. The previously used “Brickelltown” Cemetery, at the end of South East River Street past the pavement was apparently no longer acceptable for use.

Extensive research of old burial records determined there are 22 known Civil War veterans in the upper cemetery. Six now have new headstones after a positive identification, 10 have markers; military or personal and six remain unmarked pending further research.

This ceremony is to honor those six and remember all. The actual Evergreen Ceremony is being held through a joint effort of the Battleborn Civil War Re-Enactors and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. This ceremony is a formal recognition for these soldiers.

It is also the 150th Anniversary of the song “Taps”— hauntingly familiar to all. This will be played on an authenticated civil war bugle.

Participants will include Congressman Tom McClintock, The Patriot Guard Riders and the Truckee and Reno Civil Air Patrol. Also on hand will be the Fort Point Garrison Civil War Brass Band playing Civil War-era music and our own Mountain Belles singing a cappella.

The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. Parking will be available in the field to the East of the Cemetery, but space is minimal so please try car pool. Period dress is welcome but leave your guns at home! The Civil War groups will perform a 21-gun salute. Please join The Truckee Cemetery District and the Truckee Donner Historical Society, along with the Battleborn Civil War Reenactors, Carson City, Nev.; Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Camp 25-Reno, Nev.; Congressman McClintock, the Patriot Guard Riders, Air Guard Honor Guard Nevada, Truckee Civil Air Patrol, The Fort Point Garrison Brass Band and our own Mountain Belles in honoring these soldiers with the new headstones.

Chaun Mortier
Special to the Sun


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jun 15, 2012 12:33PM Published Jun 15, 2012 12:26PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.