STEUBENVILLE - Jeff Evans stood under the shade trees in Union Cemetery surrounded by dozens of grave stones and Union soldier flag holders.
He feels at home in the cemetery where more than 1,000 Civil War veterans are buried.
"Billy Carter is buried over there. He was a flag bearer who was killed in a Civil War battle. The flag bearer was the person the soldiers rallied around during the battles. His brother Jimmy was killed three months later and is buried near Billy," explained Evans, a former Wintersville resident and longtime Civil War history buff.
DISCUSSING THE CIVIL WAR — Jeff Evans, a former area resident and Civil War history enthusiast, examined the gravestone for Jacob Summers, a Union soldier from Steubenville who was injured during the Chickamauga Campaign in Tennessee in 1863. Evans will be leading a tour of the Civil War veterans’ graves at Union Cemetery on Saturday and in Wintersville on Sunday. -Dave Gossett
Evans discovered his love of the Civil War when he was 8 years old.
That's when he first visited the Union Cemetery and discovered the towering monument dedicated to Union Army veterans buried in the cemetery.
"There are at least two or three Confederate veterans also buried here. A number of southerners moved to Steubenville after the war because of the growing industries. But this area was very pro-Union Army, so it wasn't a popular move to announce they had fought for the South," noted Evans.
Evans will be back in the cemetery at 10 a.m. Saturday to lead a walking tour of the Civil War veterans' section.
He had just returned from a bike tour from Cumberland, Md., to the Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick, Md.
"It was the battle to save Washington, D.C., that saw the 126th Ohio unit faced Confederate forces three times their number," cited Evans.
Evans will lead a tour that will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Wintersville United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Fernwood Road and Main Street. The tour will continue to the Historical United Methodist Church on Woodridge Lane behind the Burger King Restaurant.
Everywhere I have traveled to bike or walk through Civil War battlefields I was reminded of Steubenville and how important this area was during the war," said Evans.
"Christopher Wolcott, the under secretary of war, served under Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, both from Steubenville. He is credited with the logistical work that won the war for the Union. He was buried in Union Cemetery after he literally worked himself to death," Evans said.
"This year I will highlight the local veterans buried here in Union Cemetery who participated in the battles of 1862. On Sunday in Wintersville I will focus on Morgan's Raiders and will cite written accounts by survivors of the raid into Eastern Ohio. Some of the geographic landmarks mentioned in the records from that time are still here," remarked Evans.
"There are six generals buried in Union Cemetery. Steubenville is a place where you can take the Civil War and bring it down to a smaller scale by focusing on the personal lives of the people who participated in the conflict. Few places can tell the Civil War story more than Jefferson County," Evans said.
"The tour will last approximately two hours and it will be in a limited geographical area. I know from past experience that walking tours in June can be physically taxing. So it will be limited walking. I enjoy talking and sharing the personal stories of these men who performed so remarkably during the Civil War," concluded Evans.