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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:11:30 09:22:57

Valley Civil War veterans at a reunion in the 1890s. The photo was probably taken in the yard of a home adjacent to the back entrance of the Wyoming Cemetery on Sixth Street, with the backs of the veterans toward Wyoming Avenue. It was very likely Memorial Day, then known as Decoration Day. Note the flags in the foreground which were to be placed on veterans’ graves in the cemetery, a tradition begun in 1868. Three of the men are positively identified. Third and fourth from the left in the first row are J.I. Shoemaker and John Felts. Shoemaker was from a early prominent Wyoming family. Felts was the custodian at the West Wyoming school. In the second row, the African-American man over Felts’ shoulder is Crowder Patience, of West Pittston. Before the Civil War, Patience was a slave at a South Carolina plantation. When he was liberated he joined a Union Army unit from Harrisburg. He eventually settled in West Pittston. He was the grandfather of famous coal sculptor Edgar Patience. Bob Nardone provided the photo and assisted with collecting this information.