Charlotte, North Carolina: Veterans Day at Pinewood Cemetery (1853)

Pinewood Cemetery Charlotte Orton
Pinewood Cemetery, established 1853 for African-Americans by the City of Charlotte, North Carolina
William Moore Pinewood Orton
Gravestone of William C. Moore

The inscription: “William C. Moore, U. S. Navy. Died Nov. 30, 1909, Age 35 Years. Gone Home.”

Lt. Col. C. S. L. A. Taylor Pinewood Orton
Gravestone of Lt. Col. Charles S. L. A. Taylor
Lt. Col. C. S. L. A. Taylor, 3rd North Carolina Volunteers
Lt. Col. C. S. L. A. Taylor, 3rd North Carolina Volunteers

The finely attired gentleman seen in this studio portrait is Col. C. S. L. A. Taylor. He was one of the first black colonels in the U. S. Army, and served in the Spanish-American War. Colonel Taylor operated the National Barber Shop at 19 North College Street, and represented Third Ward as an alderman, elected in 1885 – Photo and text, Vermelle Diamond Ely, Grace Hoey Drain, and Amy Rogers. Black America Series: Charlotte, North Carolina. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2001, p. 11

Lt. Col. Charles S. L. A. Taylor died on November 17, 1934, and is buried next to his wife Ella, and daughter Louisa T. Johnson.

Former segregation fence Pinewood-Elmwood Cemetery Charlotte Orton
The former barrier between Pinewood and Elmwood Cemeteries, Charlotte

Instead of the infamous fence, erected in the 1930s, trees now line the center aisle between the the drives of Pinewood Cemetery, on the left, and Elmwood Cemetery, to the right. Elmwood Cemetery was established in 1853 by the City of Charlotte, North Carolina, with Pinewood Cemetery as a subsection, set aside exclusively for African-American burials. Visiting the cemetery today, it was sobering to remember that all of the veterans and their family members were once on the “other side of the fence.” It was finally removed in the late 1960s, due to the influence of the national Civil Rights Movement, and local efforts of City Councilman Fred Alexander and the larger African-American community of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Emanuel Snowden Pinewood Orton
Pvt. Emanuel Snowden, Co A, 3rd NC Volunteers

Pvt. Emanuel Snowden was the son of Alfred and Eliza Snowden. He was born sometime during the 1860s, the exact date difficult to pinpoint due to varying discrepancies in census, marriage, and death records. Throughout most of his life, he was identified as a painter by occupation, and lived in Charlotte’s Second Ward. He passed on October 11, 1936, and the informant was Bessie Wilson, Emanuel’s sister.

Pinewood Cemetery Charlotte Nadia Orton
Pinewood Cemetery, Charlotte, North Carolina

2 thoughts on “Charlotte, North Carolina: Veterans Day at Pinewood Cemetery (1853)

  • Nadia, I really enjoyed this post. It made me wish the citizens of Portsmoouth could have a similar plaque at. Mt. Calvary. As always thanks for the work that you do. Maybe this spring we will have time to meet and I can share an interesting family story with you about and ancestor of mine that is buried in that complex.

    Have a Happy Holiday season,



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