Monday, February 23, 2009

Nick Biddle's Grave & An Update On The 48th PA Monument Restoration

This past Saturday saw me in old Schuylkill County, so while there I, as usual, did some cemetery stomping. I decided to go to the Bethel A.M.E. African-American Cemetery, where First Defender Nicholas Biddle is buried. I was most pleasantly surprised to discover that a new headstone has been placed in tribute to Biddle, to replace the original that was destroyed by vandals many decades ago. I am embarrassed to say that I do not know who led this effort or when the new headstone went up, but to whomever it was, I extend my most heartfelt thanks and gratitude.
Nicholas Biddle's new headstone
"Nicholas Biddle
Captain Wren's Orderly
Aug 2 1876
First to Shed Blood in Civil War"
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I would like also to take this opportunity to thank two donors, both descendants of General James Nagle, who this past week contributed very generously to the effort to replace the missing sword from the general's statue at the Antietam National Battlefield. Their donations, matched on a one-to-one basis by the Western Maryland Interpretative Association, has brought us over the $5,000.00 mark and has taken us that much closer to getting the general's sword back on his side.

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