NEWTONIA —Vandals have struck again at the Old Civil War Cemetery in Newtonia.

NEWTONIA —Vandals have struck again at the Old Civil War Cemetery in Newtonia.
"We believe in the last week or so, that a person or persons went in to the cemetery and pushed several (10-12) stones over in the northern end of the cemetery," said Don Jessen, with the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association (NBPA). "We believe that we can somewhat not fix, but make them look better, of which we will do."
The Old Civil War Cemetery, located north of town on a dead-end road, has been around since the 1850s, basically about the time the Ritchey Mansion was built. The cemetery is considered the Civil War cemetery because troops were buried there after Civil War battles fought Sept. 30, 1862 and Oct. 28, 1864 in and around Newtonia. At least one Union solider is buried there, Capt. Robert H. Christian. Other Union soldiers buried there were moved to national cemeteries.
The cemetery, which includes 400 graves (200 are unclaimed), was used until the 1900s. The cemetery was run over with brush when John Bell came to town in 1961. Since then, local groups have worked on the cemetery to keep it cleaned up.
After the broken tombstones were found, the Newton County Sheriff's Department was located and a deputy did come out on Saturday to take photos and a report.
"I believe that every person in a cemetery deserves a nice place to rest," he said. "This is a resting place for veterans, children, mothers, fathers, it should be honored an revered. And we have tried to do that. we make progress and it is an ongoing process. In our group and volunteers who have helped, we have spent a lot of hours over the last several years and a lot of money that we have had to raise in order to keep the cemetery looking good. It is an ongoing process, every year we start in the spring and through the winter months cleaning up.
For more information, call Don Jessen at 389-2719.