The wife and I visited the Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery this weekend. It was a very powerful memorial.

Over 1800 African Americans fleeing slavery during the Civil War were interred here. Many of the grave sites were destroyed over time as the site was forgotten and businesses were built on the block. Since the rediscovery in 1987, archeological surveys have been done and the memorial built so that more attention can be given to the history of the people here.

Because it was a federal cemetery, the records were still in tact and are now reproduced in bronze at the memorial. There are markers noting if the descendants of a person buried here has been found.

It’s a small memorial off the beaten path and well worth the visit if you’re in the area.