Reading April Helms’ recent story of the Nordonia Middle School students experiencing Lake View Cemetery was a pleasure. I have always felt cemeteries are places for the living, too.

Just this past Autumn my brother Ed and I went there in search of a grave site. We found the cemetery to be extraordinarily beautiful, especially at that time of the year. We knew from other sources that Civil War veteran Jeremiah Sullivan was interred there, and I was interested in writing a piece about him for DD214Chronicle, a newspaper serving veterans of Northeast Ohio.

Jeremiah Sullivan had been President of Cleveland’s National City Bank. However, in the cemetery’s online database, he was not listed.

At the cemetery we found Memorial Adviser Russ Smith to be helpful and discovered the ancestor we were looking for was listed as Col. Jeremiah Sullivan. In fact, they did not know he was a Civil War Veteran, a sergeant in the Third Ohio Field Artillery. As it turned out, colonel was the rank he held in a post-war veterans’ organization.

After participating in the campaigns of Vicksburg, with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and Atlanta with Gen. William T. Sherman, and Nashville, Jeremiah Sullivan mustered out as a sergeant in Cleveland on July 31, 1865.

Smith took us on a golf cart to the grave site, where we discovered the plot was quite large with many of Jeremiah’s immediate family buried there as well.

Smith advised that there were five empty grave sites there, but we would have to prove we were related to the colonel if we wanted to claim any of them.

We informed him that was not our purpose for being there although it may very well turn out to be just the case.

Researching matters further, we discovered Jeremiah Sullivan’s older brother John, who we had not known about, was in the same Civil War unit as was Jeremiah, the Third Ohio Field Artillery.

Capt. John Sullivan was buried in the Catholic Cemetery of St. Philip & James, in Canal Fulton.

Finding out this additional information meant a road trip with brother Ed to Canal Fulton.

While traipsing about in the old section of the Canal Fulton cemetery, we had no luck finding what we believed would be the family grave sites.

Then I sat down to rest while my younger brother Ed continued to look. Staring me in the face was Capt. Sullivan’s grave marker. And behind it were the graves of the Sullivan brothers’ mother and father. From that visit we discovered Jeremiah’s father, also named Jeremiah, and mother’s burial site, right behind the captain’s.

The entire family had been born in Ireland, the father in Dromagh, County Cork, in 1807 and the mother, Mary Moylan, in Cork, 1810. Many other family members were there — but that’s another story.

For additional information, see the January-February 2020 edition of DD214Chronicle at http://dd214chronicle.com.

Sullivan is a frequent contributor to the News Leader. He lives in Northfield Village.