Atlantic County and its Veterans Advisory Board want to help educate the public about the historic significance of the Boling Cemetery in Port Republic that includes the remains of several African American Civil War veterans. Together, they have created signage to properly identify the property, according to a county news release.
VAB member Michael Bibb led the efforts of the board to gather research for the sign with the assistance of Stockton University and Port Republic historian Doris Bugdon. The sign was produced by the county’s sign shop.
“Special thanks to our Veterans Advisory Board for its active participation in this important effort. The board’s commitment to our veterans, past and present, is unwavering,” County Executive Dennis Levinson said.
The cemetery is located at the intersection of Pomona Road and Moss Mill Road on the border of Port Republic and Galloway Township. The property is identified as the Boling Settlement that once included the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, built by the Boling family and completed in 1871.
The cemetery contains five headstones, four of which mark the graves of African American Civil War veterans who enlisted in the Union Army following the declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.
The headstones identify three Boling family members:
Josiah Boling – 25th Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry, who died in 1909; Alexander Smith – 25th Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry, who died in 1910; Charles Boling – 25th Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry, who died in 1916; and family friend, William Lee – 24th Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry, who died in 1895.
A fifth headstone marks the grave of World War I veteran, Samuel S. Boling, son of Charles Boling. It is suspected that the patriarch of the family, Henry Boling, Sr., is also buried there along with as many as 15 others. The last Boling family member is believed to have left the community in the mid-1910s.