Stanislaus County Civil War Veterans

"Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals."   - - - William Gladstone

Civil War Vets
Other War Vets
Stanislaus Cty Map

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Questions regarding this site?  Contact Jeff Wells or for queries regarding Stanislaus County Civil War Veterans, please contact Janet Lancaster.

The Grand Army of the Republic was a patriotic society of Union Army veterans founded in 1866 to strengthen the fraternal spirit, to perpetuate the memory, and to assist needy Civil War veterans and their families. In Modesto, Grand Post #9, GAR, received its charter on July 9, 1879, and proud members later marched in parades, arranged military funerals, and honored veterans with a permanent memorial located in the local cemetery.

The Modesto Citizens' Cemetery, Modesto's oldest, was laid out in 1872 soon after the founding of the town. The Modesto Cemetery Association deeded the section known as the "Grand Army Plot," which is the final resting place of thirty-eight of the veterans, to Grant Post #9 on March 4, 1882. Through the efforts of James L. Thompson and Grant Post #9, two Civil War-era cannons were secured and placed in this plot as a memorial to the veterans in 1907. The War Department provided twenty-six military headstones. A cenotaph, given by the local American Legion Post honoring the few remaining veterans, was added to complete the memorial in 1925. A second GAR cemetery plot was added in 1908. The deed to this plot was signed by the cemetery trustee, L. B. Walthall, himself a civic-minded, Confederate veteran.

Some one hundred thirty veterans out of the almost two hundred identified Civil War veterans buried throughout Stanislaus County are interred in the four adjoining cemeteries located along Scenic Drive and once known as "The Silent City." These veterans, Union and Confederate, represent a variety of states including California. After the War, many veterans brought their families by wagon and later by train to establish a new and better life and to trade the horrors and isolation of an earlier time for the realization of dreams of peace and prosperity in a new, undivided land.

Compiled by the Stanislaus Civil War Association Cemetery Project Committee
February 27, 2006
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