We Salute Our Veterans-Coins on Gravestones

Did you know that leaving coins on military gravestones has a special meaning for visitors and families of a deceased veteran? While vacationing on Hatteras Island, North Carolina a few weeks ago my husband and I visited the British Cemetery. It was there that we found coins, along with other items, on the tops of the grave stones.

British Cemetery, Hatteras Island, NC 2016

The meaning of this time-honored tradition is meant to send a message to the deceased soldier’s family telling them that someone has visited the grave site to pay their respect. So you may wonder what is the meaning of doing this.

A penny left on the gravestone means that someone paid a visit. A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at a boot camp together. The dime tells the family that you  served in some capacity with the deceased. The quarter means that you were with the deceased soldier when he was killed.

These coins are collected by the National Cemetery and state veterans cemeteries, and eventually used towards maintaining the cemetery or to help defray burial costs of future soldiers. To read the full account of this tradition, please click here.

Recently where I volunteer I assisted finding a cemetery for an out-of-state visitor. I identified the cemetery, location, and phone number. Before leaving he thanked me with a hug and told me that he will be placing a nickel on the gravestone of the deceased. The researcher was at boot camp with the deceased soldier. Both served during the Vietnam era.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share with friends. Remember the following two dates:

We Salute Our Veterans Observance on Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 PM

Wreaths Across America on Saturday, December 17 at 11:50 PM

Both are held in the Garden of Honor at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 725 Baltimore Street in Hanover.



We Salute Our Veterans – Buried but not forgotten

The number of men and women who served America from the time of the American Revolutionary War through today’s conflicts and are buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery come close to 1400. Unfortunately, that number continues to grow.

Between October 15, 2015 and October 15, 2016 one woman and 31 men have been interred in our historic cemetery. On Sunday, November 6 beginning at 2:00 PM we will remember each of them with the reading of their names.


Please remember our event on Sunday, November 6 at 2 PM in the Garden of Honor in Mount Olivet Cemetery. We are located at 725 Baltimore Street, Hanover. Come rain or shine, and please bring with you a lawn chair.

In the event you cannot join us on this day Wreaths Across America will be holding their program and placing Christmas wreaths at the grave sites of the veterans. The event is Saturday, December 17 beginning at 11:50 AM and at the same location.

Thank you for reading this week’s blog. Feel free to share with friends.


We Salute Our Veterans-Honoring Hanover’s Citizen Soldiers

Two events at Mount Olivet Cemetery honoring our veterans are coming up – ‘We Salute Our Veterans’ on Sunday, November 6th and Wreaths Across America on Saturday, December 17th beginning at 11:50 AM.

Mexican-American War 1846-1848

This war, in a nutshell, was a dispute between Mexico and the U.S. what is known today as Texas obtained its independence from Mexico about 1836. The U.S. declined to accept Texas into the Union due to northern political interests against the addition of a new slave state. There were border raids and the potential of war by the Mexican government. By 1845, Texas became annexed. (www.historychannel.com)

On April 26, 1946 the Mexican cavalry attacked U.S. soldiers, killing about 12.

Hanover men who fought during the Mexican-American War were Jacob Henry Bair and John S. Wise.

The Spanish-American War 1898-1902

America went to war against Spain to free Cuba from Spanish domination. A conflict between Spain and the U.S. resulted from the explosion of the USS Maine that sat in the Havana harbor. American aquisition of Spain’s Pacific possessions let to involvement in the Philipine Revolution and ultimately the Philipine-American War.

According to www.amhistory.si.edu website there were about 306,760 troops involved in this war and 2,446 deaths.

Hanover men who fought during this war were Wilbert G. Buohl, Charles Hamme, Alexander George Hay, Jesse E. Pentz, Maurice N. Trone, Horace Robinson, and Jacob H. Sell.

The American Indian Wars

Over the course of time there were multiple armed conflicts between European governments and colonists, and later American settlers or U.S. government and the native peoples of North America. These conflicts happened from the time of the earliest colonial settlements until 1924.

According to http://www.wikipedia.org the Indian Wars under the U.S. government totaled more than 40. They cost the lives of about 19,000 white men, women, children, including those killed in individual combats and the lives of about 30,000 Indians.100_6008

Men from, or associated with, the Hanover area who served included Dr. Moses Cooper, who married a lady from Hanover, and Charles Henry Sullivan. Dr. Cooper was not a soldier, but served as Lt. Asst. Surgeon for the U.S. Army.

There is so much written about each of the above wars or conflicts to put into one blog. What is important to remember is that no matter what time in American history, nor the battle, Hanover citizens supported their country, sacrificing their lives and time away from their families.


We Salute Our Veterans – Continuing the Tradition

The first Veterans Day Observance was held at Mount Olivet in 2006. We are proud to  continue this tradition with the help of The God Bless America Motorcycle Color Guard and the Friends of Mount Olivet Cemetery. This is a community-wide program.

Please share with your friends. Thank you.


We Salute Our Veterans – War of 1812

This is a continuation of the blog series, We Salute Our Veterans. Please share with friends that on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:00 PM a Veterans Day Observance will be held in the Garden of Honor at Mount Olivet Cemetery. We are located at 725 Baltimore Street in Hanover. The event is held rain or shine. Please bring a chair to sit on. 

An Overview of the War of 1812 …

The War of 1812 began June 18, 1812 and ended February 1815. It was fought in three theatres.

  • One was at sea with warships and privateers on each side attaching each other’s merchant ships, with the British who blockaded the Atlantic U.S. coast.
  • The second theatre was the land and naval battles fought on the U.S./Canadian frontier.
  • The third theatre was large scale battles fought in the southern U.S. and Gulf Coast.

By the end of the war, both the British and Americans signed and ratified the Treaty of Ghent, and returned occupied land, prisoners of war and captured ships to their pre-war owners, and resumed friendly trade relations without restriction. (Source: “War of 1812”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_1812; accessed 09/06/2016.)

Following are some facts about Pennsylvania and its contribution to the war:

  • 28,146 infantry men
  • 407 cavalry men
  • 755 artillery men
  • Nine men in miscellaneous troops

Of the totals mentioned above, 12 men who served during this war and are buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery are the following:

Served under Captain Frederick Metzger (died 1868)

  • Henry Wirt (1789-1859) 1st Lieut.
  • Benjamin Welsh, Esq. (1791-1843) 2nd Sgt.
  • Tobias Beck (1789-1866) Private
  • John H. Bange (1788-1870) Private
  • Daniel Stoehr/Stair (1787-1864) Private

Served under Captain John Bair (1774-1886)

  • John H. Beard (1778-1860) Private
  • Adam Forney (1789-1869) Private
  • George Throne/Trone (died 1875) Private
  • Samuel Wigle/Weigle (1785-1881) Private
  • Jacob Young (1795-1875) Private
War 1812 to 1814_Sherman maybe
Henry Sherman, War of 1812

Henry Sherman (1779-1864) served under Captain Richard M. Crain, Private, 66th Regiment, Pennsylvania Voluntary Militia. He, too, is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, and my ancestor. He, along with a few others, served in the War of 1812, and are yet to be researched.

Their service was short, perhaps a total of two months. Pay was $2.00/per month. But their patriotism was great.


We Salute Our Veterans-Memories of the Civil War

In 1860 the town of Hanover was said to have had 1600 citizens. The streets were laid out and led to larger cities, which made Hanover a connecting link to Harrisburg, Baltimore, Frederick, Maryland, Carlisle, and York, Pennsylvania. Within Mount Olivet Cemetery lies the many who fought during the Civil War.

According to John T. Krepps book, A Strong and Sudden Onslaught, The Cavalry Action at Hanover, Pennsylvania, Hanover was a self-sustaining town of shop owners, druggists, monument builders, farmers, to name a few.

On September 8, 2016, Scott Minges posted in his blog, Cannonba!!, titled “Resident shared memories of the Battle of Hanover.”  Minges explains that the “19th-century historian George R. Prowell had interviewed former Hanover shopkeeper Joseph C. Holland about his memories of Lt. Col. Elijah V. White’s June 27, 1863, raid on Hanover and the battle of Hanover three days later. These recollections were printed in the July 12, 1905, edition of the York Daily, 42 years after the battle.”  In order to get a better idea of Hanover, Minges’ blog is a ‘must-read.’ Did you know that Mount Olivet Cemetery was referred to as Cemetery Hill at one point?  Open here to read the blog post.

cropped-diller1.jpgUntil the Civil War, I could post the names of the men who fought during the Civil War and are buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery. According to the list of names I found in Dennis Brandt’s list of York Countians who served during the Civil War, I counted over 200 names. So, I am sparing you the long list of names. However, should you really be interested, I suggest that you make a trip to the York County History Center, 250 E. Market Street, York, PA. This list is posted to their public computers in the Reading Research Library.

The image (above right) is of William S. Diller and below is the inscription from the base of his gravestone.gravestone-inscription

So, the next time you walk through Mount Olivet  Cemetery, listen and maybe you might hear the whisperings from our brave departed souls. If only we could tell them how proud we are of them and of their sacrifices.

Don’t forget…

Sunday, November 6, 2016

2:00 PM

Garden of Honor at Mount Olivet Cemetery

We Salute Our Veterans Program

We Salute Our Veterans – Continuing the Love and Honor

The American Revolutionary War ended over 200 years ago, yet two groups, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Sons of the American Revolution, continue to honor those who fought for the freedom we have today.

Taken from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution 50th Anniversary Yearbook:

“The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded October 11, 1890 for historic, educational, and patriotic service: (1) to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence; (2) to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people; (3) to cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.”

In 2017, Hanover’s Colonel Richard McCalister Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will celebrate its 90-year anniversary.

Lucy Forney-Bittinger built and donated a beautiful chapel as a monument of to honor her ancestors and for future generations to use in memorializing their loved ones. The chapel features bronze tablets depicting several of the members of the Forney and Bittinger families who served during the American Revolutionary War. Built of local limestone and of wood from a family farm, the chapel represents the love, honor, and patriotic values of all men who served during the American Revolutionary War.

Join us in honoring our Veterans in two upcoming events.

“We Salute Our Veterans” Observance held at Mount Olivet Cemetery with the flag-salute-silhouetteGod Bless America Motor Cycle Color Guard  Sunday, November 6, 2016 beginning at 2:00 PM in the cemetery’s Garden of Honor.

Wreaths Across America emblemThe “Wreaths Across America,” will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2016 beginning at 11:50 AM at Mount Olivet Cemetery.