5 African American Civil War Veterans Given Proper Ceremony in Mecosta Co.

Five Northern Michigan Civil War veterans finally got the recognition they deserve.


For some it’s been more than 100 years after their deaths.

The Old Settlers Reunion group has been working with the VA to get headstones for these five African American men.

They even reached out to the Sons of Union Veterans group to give them a proper ceremony at the Morgan West Wheatland Cemetery.

“These veterans need somebody to stand up for them and to honor them.”

David Smith is a part of the sons of union veterans group. He was asked to help put on this ceremony.

“We come in and do a ceremony that is very similar, almost pretty much identical to the Grand Army of the Republic,” Smith said.

The traditional ceremony is what these five men should have received after their service. Now, Michael Norman, 102 U.S. CT, Robert Scott 102 U.S. CT, Amos Robinson 29th regimen U.S. CT, Lewis Gross, 16th regimen U.S. CT and one unknown veteran all have headstones.

“Being that it’s unknown in a way is even more special because you know he represents everyone, not just himself and we’ll still honor him just as much for his sacrifice,” Smith said.

Marsha Sanders says seeing her ancestors honored makes her very proud.

“My great grandfather was a runaway slave and he came through Canada through the underground and they settled up here in this area because there was a homestead of land President Lincoln started with the Homestead Act,” Sanders said.

A crowd gathered Sunday to honor these men.

“This is a very, very proud community, proud of their veterans,” Smith said.