A return to old haunts offered an indication of the melting pot makeup of 19th century California.
Evergreen Cemetery in Santa Cruz, Calif., along the Monterey Bay, dates back to just before the War Between the States. It not only includes graves from many of the area’s original Protestant pioneers, but the final resting place for an unusually diverse array of Union Army veterans.
Civil War soldiers from 15 states representing no fewer than 35 different units have official Veterans Administration markers in this graveyard, which is dotted by large redwood trees and also features the final resting place for ex-slaves, gold prospectors and Chinese immigrants.
Those at rest range from troops from numerous California regiments and men who served in territorial units from Nevada and Colorado to those who saw service in some of the conflict’s major battles as part of regiments from eastern and Midwestern states.
There is also at least one Confederate veteran buried in the cemetery.
And these are only the graves marked by VA stones. With more than 2,000 individuals resting in the cemetery, it’s almost certain that other soldiers are buried in the graveyard, as well.
The cemetery is different from that of many Southern and Eastern cemeteries of the same era, where the deceased are often from the state the graveyard is located in, the country they emigrated from, or, occasionally, a nearby state.
Evergreen, however, features Union veterans from the following states: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.