Philadelphia Chapter 972
Mt. Moriah Cemetery
Mt. Moriah Cemetery is located at 62nd St. and Kingsessing Avenue, in Philadelphia, PA, and was incorporated in 1855. The original cemetery occupied 54 acres in southwest Philadelphia, along Cobbs Creek. It boasted an ornate Romanesque entrance and gatehouse built of brownstone, on Islington Lane, today known as Kingsessing Avenue. The cemetery has a long and distinguished history, which is included on the Mt. Moriah Cemetery web site.
Over time, Mount Moriah grew to approximately 380 acres, spanning Cobbs Creek and expanding beyond Philadelphia into neighboring Delaware County. The cemetery's large size made it the resting place for many Philadelphians, including some of national prominence. The scale of the cemetery also enabled churches, institutions and fraternal organizations to establish their own subsections within its bounds.
During the latter half of the twentieth century, Mount Moriah became a victim of neglect. The economics of perpetual care in the face of dwindling new business took its toll, aided by vandalism, dumping and theft. Even though Mount Moriah Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark, is on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and several organizations have worked to restore sections of the cemetery, its fate is still uncertain. Mount Moriah Cemetery was placed on Preservation Pennsylvania's Most Endangered Historic Properties List in 2004 and on The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia's Endangered Properties List in 2005.
Mt. Moriah Cemetery
Interment records for Mt. Moriah Cemetery can be located today at one of two places:
• Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania 215 S. Broad St., 7th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107-5325 215- 545-0391
• Historical Society of Pennsylvania 1300 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-732-6200
Information on Confederate burials was provided by Sam Ricks, SCV PA Division Graves Registrar.
Henry Garner grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and was educated in the city's public schools. His parents were Washington and Hannah Beidler Garner.
Garner enlisted in the Louisiana Infantry, CSA, on March 10, 1862. He was assigned to the Confederate Guards Response Battalion, a New Orleans militia unit, which became the 16th Battalion, then later merged with the Company A, Consolidated Crescent Regiment, Louisiana Infantry. He fought in the Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) In Tennessee, and in the Battle of Corinth in Mississippi. Later, he served during the Red River Campaign in Louisiana.
Chaplain Rev. Francis V. Hoskins served in Company A, 7th Regiment, North Carolina Volunteers, Confederate States Army. He enlisted on April 23, 1861, and was captured at the Battle of Fort Hatteras, NC, on August 16, 1861. Hoskins was held as a prisoner of war at Fort Columbus, NY. He was exchanged at Fort Monroe in 1862.
Thomas A. Rayl was born in Guilford County, NC. He enlisted on July 15, 1862, in Company A, 1st Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Confederate States Army. Rayl was wounded and captured at Sharpsburg, MD (Antietam) on September 17, 1862. He died while in captivity at Hestonville USA Hospital, West Philadelphia, PA, October 24, 1862, of typhoid pneumonia and was buried the same day at Mount Moriah Cemetery according to his Philadelphia death certificate.
Additional information from SCV PA Graves Registrar Sam Ricks:
Pvt. Rayl also listed in NARA records as Pvt. E. A. Rayl/Rayle. First name may be Elam. Original VA grave marker was replaced in January 2007. Identifying inscription on original marker was obliterated. VA records had only a fragment of a name, "Thomas Regap." That name could not be linked with any Confederate unit.
However, a search of a 1912 War Department Registry of Confederate POW graves in the North identified the grave as that of Pvt. Thomas A. Royal, Company A, 1st Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry, buried at plot 224, Mount Moriah Cemetery. At the time we requested the replacement grave marker, this was the only information available to identify the grave.
Pvt. Royal's NARA military records abruptly stopped at December 1864 without further indicating casualty, capture, death, burial, discharge, or parole and no connection to Philadelphia or Mount Moriah Cemetery. No Philadelphia death certificate was ever found for Pvt. Royal. No other gravesite for Pvt. Royal was ever located. I discovered this error by accident, the result of a death certificate search that ultimately identified another soldier with an almost identical name and unit (see entry below).
Civil War Confederate Army Soldier. He enlisted as a Private in Company A, 1st North Carolina Cavalry on June 3, 1861, at the age of 21.
Civil War Confederate Army Soldier. He enlisted as a Private in Company K, 5th North Carolina Infantry regiment. He served until he died of wounds as a prisoner in west Philadelphia, PA, on September 29, 1862.
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