NEWTONIA — A couple of weeks ago, the Old Civil War Cemetery in Newtonia suffered some damage of downed trees.

NEWTONIA — A couple of weeks ago, the Old Civil War Cemetery in Newtonia suffered some damage of downed trees.
On Tuesday, volunteers and members of the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association (NBPA) worked for four hours  using chainsaws on the downed trees, burning brush piles and weed eating around the tombstones.
"We have cut up more big limbs, split the wood, burn the brush piles and it (work) continues," NBPA member Don Jessen said. "we have had two weed eaters going at the same time, so we can spray around the stones so that we dot have to weed eat."
The volunteers worked on the fallen trees, limbs and the damage also included some of the tombstones knocked over.
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.
"It is a never-ending job, we have done a lot," he said.
Asked why it is important to take care of the cemetery, Jessen said, "if it was your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, how important would it be for you to. it would be very important."