Memorials to United States Colored Troops
A photo-essay series dedicated to the United States Colored Troops, and how they were remembered in contemporary news media
Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex, Lincoln Memorial Cemetery
“After an illness of two days, Mr. Dred Smith, an energetic and faithful member of G. A. R., died at his home, 612 Race street, Thursday, June 20, at 9 p.m. Funeral service was held at Emanuel A. M. E. church Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Sympathy is extended the family. Thus passes away another of the grand old landmarks.” — New Journal and Guide, June 30, 1917
(Photo: Nadia K. Orton, May 27, 2017)
“Zion’s Oldest Deacon Dead – Mr. Nelson Carney, a well-known and respected citizen of Portsmouth, Va., died at his residence, 717 King street Sunday, November 1, at 6:15 p.m.
He was stricken at his home October 20, and sustained a brief illness of just eleven days. The funeral service was held Tuesday, at 2 p.m., at the Zion Baptist Church of which he was the oldest deacon and Sunday school teacher.
The rain did not prevent the attendance of a large number of members and friends who were anxious to pay the last tribute of respect.
Mr. Carney served in the Civil War and was a member of Silas Fellows Post No. 7, G. A. R. and Grand Chaplain of the Dept. of Va., and North Carolina.
Rev. J. M. Armistead conducted the service, and eulogistic remarks were made by Rev. E. E. Smith, A. Gomer, Commander Grandy of Dept. of Va. and North Carolina, G. A. R.
The floral tributes were numerous and beautiful and the casket was draped with a large American flag.
He is survived by five children, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a host of friends.
He will be greatly missed by both the church and community. His remains were interred in (Mt.) Calvary cemetery.” — The New Journal and Guide, November 7, 1925
(Photo: Nadia K. Orton, May 23, 2015)
“The funeral of Alexander Gordon, a well-known colored man, who died yesterday at his residence, 633 North street, will take place from the North Street A. M. E. Church Friday at 3 p.m. Gordon, who was 70 years old had a wide acquaintance in Portsmouth, where he had lived all his life, and had the respect of all who knew him. He is survived by his widow, two sons and a daughter.” — The Portsmouth Star, August 9, 1917
(Photo: Nadia K. Orton, February 20. 2011)
“Death Claims Prominent Citizen – The funeral services of Com. Edmond Riddick, who died after a brief illness at midnight Thursday, took place from Zion Baptist Church last Sunday at 1:15 p.m. Rev. E. E. Smith, pastor, officiated assisted by Revs. J. M. Armistead, D. D., W. H. Willis and W. Miller. Rev. Smith spoke from those words, “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” He paid a glowing tribute to Mr. Riddick’s loyalty and faithfulness to the church and community. Dr. Armistead stressed his straight forwardness and character, pronouncing it the best he has known in any man. “A Charge To Keep I Have,” and “I Am But A Stranger Here,” the favorite hymns of the deceased were sung. The Roland Hayes Glee Club sang, very effectively, “Sleep Sweetly, Tender Heart.”
The large concourse and numerous floral tributes bore unspeakable evidence of the esteem and worth in which he was held.
At the age of seventeen he enlisted in the Civil War, Co. A 36th Regiment U. S. C. Inf., served throughout the war, was honorably discharged at Brazos, Texas. Mr. Riddick was commander of Silas Fellows Post, member of Evening Star, Lodge of Odd Fellows, Grand Master’s Council and the Teamster’s Association.
Two sons, Richard Riddick and W. E. Riddick, survive him.
The following members of the Col. Young Post Spanish War Veterans, Moses Shepherd, Albert Holliday, Chas. Ahrens, Alex Davis, James Tann, Albert Baker and Hall served as active pall bearers. Messrs. L. Mingo, Mason, Solomon Vann Sr., Wellington Jefferson were honorary pall bearers.
The members of the Grand Army were with the family.
The body was laid away in the family plot in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.” — New Journal and Guide, June 26, 1926
(Photo: Nadia K. Orton, February 6, 2017)