Kevin Buckwalter- Honoring African-American Heroes of the Civil War

A graduate of the University of Nevada at Reno, Kevin Buckwalter treats patients of all ages in Las Vegas. One of Kevin Buckwalter’s favorite pastimes is studying the Civil War and seeing how its impact can still be felt today.

On February 14, 2015, the City of Burke, Virginia, unveiled a memorial honoring African-American soldiers of the Civil War. This marker is located at Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, a place of historical significance. The Department, originally known as Burke’s Station, was located on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad when originally constructed in 1851.

During the War, it became an important transportation center that provided the Union army with timber for stockades, firewood, and railroad ties, along with numerous other products. At the height of the conflict, more than 1,000 cords of lumber moved from this station every month. Many of the teamsters responsible for transporting the wood to the station were escaped slaves, known as contrabands. Because Burke’s Station was outside of Union territory, these men were at regular risk of capture, enslavement, and even death for contributing to the federal cause.

One notable event occurred on October 28, 1863. Confederate troops seized contrabands, as well as their mules, and ordered that they bring them to Burke’s Station. One contraband escaped and warned the depot. At their approach, Union troops fired a warning shot, which scared the Confederates away. Moreover, they left the contrabands and the mules untouched.

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