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Marker placed at Maury Commons to commemorate cemetery
A plaque commemorating what was once called the ‘Colored Cemetery’ was hung yesterday at Maury Commons in Fredericksburg.
The marker is to remember the indigent and unknown once buried at the site in the 19th century.
Former slaves and free blacks were buried at the site.
The plaque was paid for by City Councilman Fred Howe III and the Silver Cos. but the effort was spearheaded by former City Councilman Matt Kelly.
The Maury Commons Condominium Association agreed to have the memorial placed on the property in April when the Sons of Confederate Veterans arranged to have their memorial moved to there as well after a court battle with the city.
According to a Free Lance-Star article published in February 1999, the land at George and Barton Streets was used as a potter’s field until about 1850.
Many black Fredericksburg residents were buried in this area set aside for them by Fredericksburg.
After the Civil War, the majority of blacks, it is thought, continued to be buried in the cemetery at the potter’s field site. When the Shiloh Cemetery began, some bodies were moved from there.
When the Maury School and field was built in the early 1920s, more bodies were exhumed and reburied at Shiloh. Many, however, remain buried on the grounds.