In regard to Mr. Wilson, a black Civil War solder buried in a pauper’s grave site here in Sandwich: it is noted here that if not for the efforts of a Life Boy Scout, Alex Moore, a member of Troop 47 here in Sandwich, in 2012, Mr. Wilson’s grave site would have remained buried under all of the weeds, trees, and other vegetation. Alex undertook the task as his Eagle project to care for this long-forgotten burial site and provides it an appropriate place in Sandwich history.
This burial site deep in the woods of Sandwich was crying out to be seen and heard and his Eagle project was to clear and identify this burial place in perpetuity. With the help of his fellow Scouts he provided the leadership and fortitude to accomplish a goal, which had remained unnoticed by the residents of Sandwich for decades. A young Life Scout, working on his Eagle project to its completion, has now made it possible for others to take notice of the only black man to be buried in Sandwich, a slave and a free man when he signed up for the Union during the Civil War to fight for the country we all call these United States of America—so that others may find the resolve to pay him honor and respect for what he did in another life time for his country.
It is my contention that others may well be laid to rest in and around this same site and have no markings on them. It sure would be nice to know for sure if that is the case. One of the roads leading into a projected Golden Triangle development site was marked to be in the same area as is Mr. Wilson’s grave site, and it sure would sort of be embarrassing to uncover unmarked grave sites in this area, if and when any future entrances will be part of some development for this area.
I digress, but feel that this is important enough to mention this, as many do not know this place of sanctity.
This Life Scout, Alex Moore, carried out his objective to pay respect to a man who was a slave, joined the Union Army and served his country as a free man on behalf of the country he wanted to be part of. Alex Moore earned his Eagle badge. As a result of completing his merit badge requirements along with this Eagle project, he was given the recognition at a court of honor he so deservedly worked for. He gave Sandwich something that many others had never bothered to identify in a previous time. Just think about some of these words the next time you decide to take a walk back into history and see for yourself.
For further historical data about Joseph Wilson, 1843-1886, please look up the historical data put together by Mr. Bill Daily, longtime member of the Sandwich Historical Society.
Carl A. Johansen