Tag Archives: Rosedale Cemetery

Stanton Post, GAR – Angeles Rosewood Cemetery

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 6.15.54 PMGreetings all – today I went to visit the Stanton Post, Grand Army of the Republic cemetery plot at the Angeles Rosewood Cemetery in Los Angeles. One of the older area cemeteries, I found it to retain its antiquated (for LA) charm, but also thought it in need of drastic attention. The grounds are overgrown and the lawns dead in many areas, and a great deal of the stones and monuments are in a grim state of disrepair. This is especially the unfortunate condition of the veterans’ plot – consecrated by the Stanton Post, GAR in 1908. Here rest Union veterans of the Civil War and United States soldiers from the subsequent Indian Wars and the War with Spain in 1898.

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By the way, this is an integrated plot, something that cannot be said of the other early-twentieth century cemeteries in the area.

With compliments,

Keith

Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth – A Significant First

Picture 1Allen Allensworth was born into slavery in Kentucky in 1842. Like many others, the Civil War brought an opportunity to escape to Union lines. Allensworth took this opportunity and joined with the Union hospital Corps after escaping to an encampment of the 44th Illinois Volunteer Regiment – a unit camped near Louisville. In 1863, he joined the US Navy, where he was soon promoted to Captain’s Steward serving on the Gunboat Queen’s City.

After the war, he pursued a life of preaching, married, and eventually returned to the Army as the Chaplain of the 24th Infantry Regiment – the Buffalo Soldiers – holding the rank of Captain, he was among the few black officers in the Army. By the time of his retirement in 1906, he had reached the rank of Lt. Colonel – the first black man to do so.

Allensworth is quickly becoming a person of great interest to me. After his retirement, he moved to Los Angeles, California and worked to develop a black community north of Bakersfield. The town of Allensworth, founded in 1908, was meant to be entirely self sufficient – free from racism, and free from the travails of the post Reconstruction South.

Sadly, the town failed. The problem – no water: a problem that comes up a lot in California. AllensPicture 2worth returned to Los Angeles where, in 1914,  he was ingloriously killed in a motorcycle accident. He is buried in the GAR plot at Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Allensworth is among several men in my current study of Union veterans who moved Southern California after the war. Did Allensworth develop an identity as a westerner? What sort of identities was he dealing with in a post-Union victory United States that helped inform a possible western outlook? Several identity layers may indeed surface – racial, sectional, gender, class. We shall see – I am planning several trips to the archives including a road trip to the remnants of what was once Allensworth, California.

One thing that is great about this project – it turns out that Los Angeles has a much richer Civil War connection than I had previously thought.

With compliments,

Keith