Zion Union Cemetery and the 54th Massachusetts
The Zion Union Cemetery, located in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, is the final resting place of at least thirty-eight African-American Civil War veterans. The inspiring story of this community's heroic response to answer President Abraham Lincoln's call to arms can instruct all citizens about the importance of freedom and the costs that it sometimes takes to preserve it. The African-American men and women of the Mercersburg area, who numbered approximately four hundred and twenty in the 1860 census, had already displayed their bravery and sacrifice in establishing this area as a stop on the Underground Railroad prior to the war; now the men had an opportunity to fight for their country and help to bring a halt to slavery. Eventually eighty-eight men from this community served, many of them in the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first African-American regiment formed in the north.The Zion Union Cemetery, located in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, is the final resting place of at least thirty-eight African-American Civil War veterans.
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