African American Civil War Burials and Mt. Hope Cemetery

African American Civil War Burials and Mt. Hope Cemetery

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Mt. Hope Cemetery War Memorial

611 East Pennsylvania Avenue, Champaign, IL

Located west of Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Mount Hope Cemetery (611 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Champaign, IL) was plotted and internment began in 1856. Sitting on the dividing line between the two cities, it’s the oldest operating cemetery in Champaign-Urbana. Throughout its 150 years, it has been the final resting place for many local African Americans and their families, including most of those who fought in the Civil War. The majority of these veterans were buried in what was the Grand Army of the Republic’s (G.A.R.) section, now known as the “old” veteran's section, found as you enter the cemetery. It is represented by the Civil War Memorial and a 32-pound canon built in 1851. However, many of the original markers no longer exist for many of these and other Civil War veterans, or they were moved to other locations in the cemetery.

African Americans veterans from various wars including World War I and II are also buried in this section.

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Many local African Americans who fought in the Civil War are buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Champaign-Urbana (611 E. Pennsylvania Ave.) as well as in other cemeteries around the county. Although many individual markers do not exist or have not been relocated, our understanding of which Civil War veterans buried at Mount Hope and other cemeteries are based on available records. The list of veterans below, though extensively researched, may not be complete.

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Urbana

Jordan Anderson, Pvt, 28th U.S. Volunteers (28th USCT)

James H. Bell, Pvt, Co D, 29th USCT

William. G. Blackburn, Pvt, Co I, 50th USCT, died 20 January 1893

Elijah Gibbs, Cpl, Co H, 55th MA Vols

George. W. Johnson, Pvt, Co K, 118th US Inf (118th USCT)

David Johnson, Wagoner, 29th USCT

John C. Louis (Lewis), Sgt, Co D, 28th USCT

Martin McDermot, Pvt, US gunboat Hastings

John R. Merrick, Pvt, Co I, 55th MA Vols

John Moss, Pvt, Co H, 55th MA Inf

Ruff Phillips, Pvt, Co C, 48th MO Vol, and Drummer, 7th IL Cav

James (Jess) E. Riley, Pvt, Co K, 29th USCT

Stephen Roey, Pvt, Co C, 1l0th USCT

Simon Ross, Pvt, Co K, 49th USCT and Co I, II the USCT

William Summerville, Pvt, Co G, 29th USCT

Larkin. H. Walden, Pvt, Co I, MA Vols

James Walker; Pvt, Co K, 118th USCT

William. P. Winn, Cpl, Co. D, 18th USCT

Stephen Winston, Co C, 1l0th USCT, died 4 May 1900

Homer GAR Cemetery, Homer IL

Samuel Persons, Sgt, 29th USCT, Co. F

Old Homer Cemetery, Homer, IL

C. Cone, 54th US Cav (54th USCT)

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney, IL

Isaac Beard, Pvt, Co C, 13th USCT



From Salt Fork to Chickamaunga: Champaign County Soldiers in the Civil War, Chapter 22 “Black Soldiers in the Civil War,” by Robert H. Behrens [Urbana, IL: Urbana Free Library, 1988] pps. 371-381.




  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Urbana, Illinois

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