69th Gravestone Ceremony
Holy Cross Cemetery
25 years of honoring our lads ... In 1996 the 69th Pa "Irish Volunteers"
working with the Veterans Administration secured a gravestone and paid Old
Cathedral Cemetery costs to provide a gravestone on the unmarked "final resting
place" of our Colonel at Gettysburg - Dennis O'Kane. We knew that all over the
Philadelphia hundreds of veterans of the 69th during the Civil War had been buried
without a gravestone. Some had died during the war and had been brought home
for burial. Others lived into old age. Some of the lads were fortunate to have family
provided markers. Most lay in the ground unmarked and unhonored. The History &
Preservation Committee of the 69th Pa reenactors had begun it's task..... A task that
has continued for 25 years........ and will continue.
This year we are approaching our 100th gravestone placement. We have traveled
near and far to hold ceremonies on the marked and unmarked graves of more than
190 of our lads. We have assembled a listing of more than 822 "grave locations" all
over the country. This April we travel to Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pa to honor
two more men and their new gravestones. Both were wounded in famous battles of
the war - Freredreicksburg... Antietam ... Gettysburg and survived. Now they rest and
on Sunday March 11th 2021 they will be honored.
Private John Dolan, Company F
Wounded in left elbow at Antietam.
Wounded in right thigh at Gettysburg
Died July 27, 1899
Sergeant William C Rourke Company C
Wounded in head & left arm at Fredericksburg
Died May 16, 1891