First Civil War Trails Marker in the City of York To Remember Black Veterans

YORK, PA – On Tuesday, April 2, Lebanon Cemetery became the first Civil War Trails site in the City of York, Pennsylvania. The multi-state Civil War Trails program offers more than 1,500 sites for travelers, enabling them to stand in the footsteps of historic events and people. Lebanon Cemetery, located at 1412 N. George St., is administered by the Friends of Lebanon Cemetery who work to honor the early African American community members from York County.

Joseph Richburg, operations manager for Lebanon Cemetery, reads the new Civil War Trails sign which recounts the story of Reverend Jesse S. Cowles and helps visitors find the other graves of African American Civil War veterans. Located at 1412 N. George St., York, PA. (Photo courtesy of Civil War Trails Inc.)

Samantha Dorm, advisor for the Friends of Lebanon Cemetery, said, “The cemetery’s inclusion in the Civil War Trails program not only honors the memory of those laid to rest here, but also serves as a gathering place of inspiration and learning for current and future generations.” The Friends of Lebanon Cemetery recently unveiled this new marker during a dedication of headstones for five veterans this past Saturday, April 13. The Friends worked with the National Cemetery Association and local office of Veterans Affairs on this notable event. More than 100 visitors and volunteers were present for the Military Headstone Dedication.

Samantha Dorm (left) and Joseph Richburg from the Friends of Lebanon Cemetery joined Melissa Beaverson (right) from Explore York on April 2 for sign installation. (Photo courtesy of Civil War Trails Inc.)

The new marker was made possible thanks to a partnership between the Friends of Lebanon Cemetery, Explore York, and Civil War Trails, Inc. The Friends provided a wealth of information to help create the new interpretive sign now located just inside the cemetery gates. A grant offered by Explore York covered the initial costs. Explore York will also cover the annual membership fee associated with the Civil War Trails program. This ensures ongoing sign maintenance and promotion of the program to not only history-loving travelers, but all travelers.

The Civil War Trails program has been expanding its footprint into Pennsylvania, the sixth state to join the initiative. There are twelve new sites under development in York County, but this is the first to be added in the city. “We’re thrilled to have this program in York County,” said Melissa Beaverson, director of destination marketing for Explore York. “Travelers from around the world seek out these historical sites, and as they do they experience our local restaurants, shops, and all things that make York County unique.”

To find out more about Lebanon Cemetery, visit To begin planning your trip, visit and request our 2024 travel guide today. For more information about Civil War Trails, visit Be sure to snap a #signselfie during your visit and post it with hashtags #civilwartrails and #ExploreYorkPA.

1 Response to First Civil War Trails Marker in the City of York To Remember Black Veterans

  1. Great work! Lebanon Cemetery in Chambersburg would be another great place for a CWT sign. There are numerous USCTs buried there who served in several different regiments.

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