Visit Our Archived Website at

Old Cathedral Gravestones

Old Cathedral Cemetary Gravestones
April 26, 2022

Reading The Biography of Our Hero

The number of 69th soldiers who have received a VA headstone on their previously unmarked “final resting places” increased to 103 as the members of the reenacting regiment met at Old Cathedral Cemetery in West Philadelphia on Sunday April 24th. Members assembled at 9:00 am as music of the 69th band played on the cemetery circle and as we met descendants. Captain Michael Ernsberger called the men to order at 9:30 am and brevet 1st Sergeant Kyle Schaeffer lined the men up to walk to the  first of the three new gravestones. Adjutant Don Ernsberger read the biography of each man. Each of these “heroes” fought with the 69th at the Stone wall at Gettysburg and each suffered battlefield wounds during the war. Two were captured in battles. Color Sergeant Dave O’Daniel provided a prayer as the soil  from Ireland was dropped upon their graves. Our ladies in turn placed the flag of Ireland on their now finally marked burial location.  As we usually do each time we visit Old Cathedral we ended our program with a return to the grave of Colonel Dennis O’Kane…. The first marker we laid back at the start of our gravestone project in 1996.

The 69th Assembled at the Arlington of the Regiment

The continuity of the 69th was highlighted by the family of our beloved recently departed William Meehan as his daughter (Janet Meehan Gallagher) attended the ceremony with her husband and proudly watched as their son in law Al  Colbourne fired volleys as a new 69th soldier. Beautiful weather greeted the entire gathering as our three soldiers finally had a  marker placed on their graves. Following the ceremonies at Old Cathedral Cemetery, a delegation of 69th soldiers and ladies drove to nearby Holy Cross Cemetery to participate in the yearly “Joseph McGarrity Parade and Services”. The 69th plays a role each year as Philadelphia Irish groups assemble to honor several men who played a role in the movement for Irish Independence. This year Captain Michael Ernsberger was asked to have the 69th play a very special role in the event. The 69th color guard and ladies would lead the procession of hundreds of participants  from grave to grave. Upon arriving at each site, the 69th contingent would stand at the grave and after our Captain first placed “Irish Soil” at the gravestone would fire a volley over the stone. Thus a great honor was given to the “69th Irish Volunteers”.

Our Irish Band Opens the Ceremony
Lined Up and Prepared to Honor

CAPTAIN JOHN J DEVLIN (Co. E) – Wounded right elbow at Glendale. Wounded left hand November 1864 SERGEANT DENNIS BRADLEY (CO K) Wounded at Antietam. Wounded at Gettysburg. SERGEANT GEORGE MULHOLLAND (Co. F) Captured at Gettysburg. Imprisoned in Richmond. Died after release of Typhoid Fever in Union Camp City Point.

Upcoming Events


March 16
Band Performance, Siamsa Pub, Stroudsburg, PA

April 6
Heckler Plantation, Harleysville, PA

April 9
Camp Discharge, Gladwyne, PA

May 4-5
Wilderness Battlefield, Spotsylvania, VA

May 18
Peter Wentz Drill, Lansdale, PA

June 8
Annual Reenactment, Old Bedford, PA

July 20
White Chimney Estates, Gap, PA

August 24
Gettysburg Encampment, Gettysburg, PA

September 14-15
Cold Spring Village Encampment, Cape May, NJ

September 21
Civil War Museum, Harrisburg, PA

October 12
Fall Festival & Civil War Weekend, Mullica Hill, NJ

October 19
Reenactment Battle, Cedar Creek, VA

October 26
Langhorne Harvest Day, Langhorne, PA

November 11
Veterans Day

November 15-16
Gettysburg Remembrance Day

Past Events


March 10
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Phila, PA


November 17-18
Gettysburg Remembrance Day

November 11
Veterans Day Gravestones

October 28
Langhorne Harvest Day

October 20-21
Heritage Day Brubaker Park

October 13-15
Mullica Hill “Living History”

September 8-10
Cold Spring Village Event

August 25-27
Gettysburg Encampment

July 21-22
White Chimney Estates Event

June 23-25
Gettysburg 160th Reenactment

June 10
Old Bedford Reenactment

May 29
Bridesburg Memorial Day Parade

May 27
Memorial Day Gravestones

May 20
Living History Day – New Hope, PA

March 25
School of the Soldier

March 12
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade


November 18-19
Gettysburg Remembrance Day

November 12
Lawnview Cemetery

October 29
Langhorne Harvest Day

October 8
Mullica Hill

September 9-11
Cold Spring Encampment & Skirmish

July 29-30
Gettysburg Encampment

July 15-16
Falling Waters Civil War Weekend

June 10-12
Fort Mifflin

May 30
Bridesburg Memorial Day Parade

May 21
Parkesburg Festival

April 29–30
Camp Geiger Reenactment

April 26
Old Cathedral Cemetery Gravestones

March 19
Band Performance Hatboro Pa

March 13
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

February 25-26
Daniel Boone Drill Camp


November 20
Gettysburg Remembrance Day

November 13
Lawnview Cemetery

October 30
Langhorne Harvest Day

October 22
Brad Upp Book Debut

October 16
Brubaker Park

September 24-26
Celtic Fest

September 11
Hay Creek

July 2-3
White Chimney’s

July 2-3
Museum Village

May 31
Bridesburg Memorial Day Parade

April 11
Holy Cross Cemetery


November 21
Gettysburg Remembrance Day

November 7
Mount Peace Cemetery

February 12
Lincoln Day Parade