Be A Part of the Vote – Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery

Gas Station at South Washington and Church Street
(1001 South Washington Street)

As a child, I remember the Gas Station at the corner of South Washington and Church Street. Unknown to me and many others, that a Cemetery exists under that Gas Station. Today, the Gas Station is no longer there and the City of Alexandria now owns the property. In recognizing the many African Americans that were buried in the Freedmen Cemetery during the Civil War through 1868, the City is planning a Memorial Cemetery.

I hope like me, you would want to be a part of this unique event in history. The City is in its final stages of getting an artist to design the sculpture that will be placed at the Memorial Cemetery site. The three finalists for the bronze sculptures have submitted their models to be voted on; please do not miss this opportunity.

You can view the three model sculptures at the Durant Center:

Dr. Oswald Durant Memorial Center
1605 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

You must let your preference known by August 6 to the committee. The public committee will consider all the comments in making the final choice. The winner for the sculptor will be announced in September.

Archaeology has been working on the Freedmen’s Cemetery since 1987. Viewing the various sculpture models and providing your input would be the final stage in the design of the Memorial—now under construction at 1001 S. Washington Street. I hope you will be able to view the models and express your opinion!

Web site discussing the competition guidelines and the three finalists:

Web site discussing the exhibit of the models:

For additional information, please contact Dr. Pamela J. Cressey at


Mr. Josephus Lovelace’s Memories of Parker-Gray High School – Class of 1948

Joe Lovelace’s Retirement 1978

Mr. Josephus (Joe) Lovelace and his mother moved to Alexandria, Virginia from Halifax, Virginia after the death of his father, Andrew Lovelace in 1943. He first attended Lyles-Crouch Elementary School for two and half months before entering Parker-Gray High School in September 1943. His family first lived on 325 North Fayette Street, then on 611 North West Street, and then they moved back to 325 North Fayette Street.

He has several fond memories of Parker-Gray. One time he was throwing snowballs when Mr. Pitts, the principal walked up behind him and he elbowed Mr. Pitts in the stomach. That action got him into trouble. Other memories were about his favorite teachers, Mrs. Dorothy Key, the Librarian and Mrs. Edith W. Casey, the Social Studies and English teacher. Both of those teachers were his homeroom teachers.

Mr. Lovelace loved horsing around and chasing the girls in school. His friends in school were John Herring (Johnnie Cake), Herbert McGreer, Willie Daniels, Robert Burless, Lloyd Diggs (Class of 1949), Louise Gaskins, Suzanne Gaskins, Theresa Bentley, Katherine Lomax and Phyllis Roy.

He gives credit to his favorite teacher, Mrs. Casey who insulted him by saying, “Do You know what the letter ‘D’ stands for?” She continued to say ‘D’ stands for “Dumb”, like you. In addition, she told him in his senior year in school, that he will not graduate unless he recited “To Be or Not to Be.”

Joe Lovelace’s Military Group Picture

He graduated from Parker-Gray in 1948 and joined the Army weeks later. He kept Mrs. Casey’s comment in mind, which helped him to excel in everything he did. Mr. Lovelace had 30-years of combined service in the Army and the Air Force. He worked for 15-years with the United States Postal Service while attending College and obtained an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. Mr. Lovelace was 48-years old when he started his undergraduate program; he completed his degree in three years. After retiring from the postal service, he worked for the police department as a counselor. At the age of 82, Mr. Lovelace volunteers at the Police Department in Colorado. His military career took him to foreign countries like Germany, Korea, England, France and Japan. He had lived in Germany, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah, and finally settled in Denver. The negative comment that Mrs. Casey made about Mr. Lovelace was the fuel he needed to accomplish all the things he achieved. Even today, he says that Mrs. Casey was his best teacher.

1948 Parker-Gray High School Teachers and Graduating Class

1948 Alexandria, VA Teacher’s List

The Parker-Gray High School year of 1947 – 1948 had one principal and twenty-four teachers.

William H. Pitts, Sr. – Principal
Mary Tunstall Adams – Social Studies
A.W. Adkins – English, Math
Susie E. Anderson – English, Biology
Arthur W. Bracey – Shop
Janie R. Browne – Third, Fourth
Edith W. Casey – English
Flora W. Chase – Typing, Shorthand
Helen L. Day – Seventh Grade
Laura M. Dorsey – Fourth Grade
Thelma M. Dorsey – Second Grade
Lauretta H. Hall – Art, Social Studies
Ferris Holland – Science
Earleen L. Hughes – English, French
Louis R. W. Johnson – Physical Education
Rubye Johnson – Physical Education
Dorothy P. Key – Librarian
Alma P. Murray – First Grade
Edward L. Patterson – Music
Bernice J. Perry – Seventh Grade
Julia E. Pritchett – Seventh Grade
Lucile Smith – Third Grade
Mabel Lee Smith – Math, Science
Ruby E. Smith – Home Economics
Geraldine Stevenson – Seventh Grade

There was forty-three students in the Class of 1948.

Carmeen Powell Adams
Aaron Anderson
Claudine Evans Belk
Samuel Brice
Edward Bumbroy
Robert Burless
Katherine Lomax Daniels
Willie Daniels
Barbara Scott Diggs
Doris Jennings Duncan
Alma Horn Gayton
Margaret Shepherd Grimes
Theresa Bentley Hamilton
Carrir McCollugh Hanson
John Harris
Valeria Stanton Henderson
John Herring
Ralph Holland
Christine Howard
Neal Jackson
William Jackson
Herman Lewis
Joseph(us) Lovelace
Lula Martin
Shirley Miller
Francis McGee
Herbert McGreer
Kolan Newman
Jean Butler Patton
Louis Gaskins Pope
Nellie Brooks Quander
Janet Slaughter Revis
Herbert Spears
Suzanne Gaskins Stein
Phyllis Roy Tate
Clayton Thompson
Thomas Turner
Bernice William Vaughn
Clifton Wanzer
Lloyd Wanzer
Carton Willis
Georgia Hollinger Wilson
Henry Wilson

Alexandria African American World War I Draft Registrations – Part 4: “D”

Julian Diggs’ World War I Draft Registration Card

During World War I, the United States armed forces remained segregated. Many African Americans registered for the draft as well as served in WWI. Over a quarter of a million African Americans served in WWI. Many of them were relegated to support roles and did not see combat. However, there were some distinguished units among the African American soldiers, for example the 369th Infantry Regiment known as “Harlem Hell fighters,” stayed on the front lines during the war for six months. One-hundred and seventy-one members of the 369th were awarded the Legion of Merit.

There were other outstanding African American units that served in WWI”

92nd Infantry Division
•   366th Infantry Regiment
93rd Infantry Division
•   369th Infantry Regiment (“Harlem Hell fighters;” formerly the 15th New York National Guard)
•   370th Infantry Regiment (formerly the 8th Illinois)
•   371st Infantry Regiment
•   372nd Infantry Regiment

A complete list of African American units that served in World War I is in Robert J. Dalessandro’s book “Willing Patriots: Men of Color in the First World War.”

Below are the African American Alexandrians with the “D” surnames.

Dabney, Major – born in 1880
Dabney, William B – born February 12, 1888
Dade, Henry – born April 19, 1881
Dade, Hopson Odell – born August 22, 1898
Davis, Albert – born November 15, 1898
Davis, Booth Royal – born November 11, 1883
Davis, Dewey Otis – born September 19, 1899
Davis, George – born July 19, 1899
Davis, George – born June 4, 1875
Davis, Hal Pauli – born August 13, 1900
Davis, Henry – born June 14, 1888
Davis, Marshall – born March 2, 1877
Davis, Milton Dulaney – born August 31, 1881
Davis, Oscar Blackwell – born March 2, 1876
Davis, Perry Walker – born September 18, 1889
Davis, Thomas – born July 4, 1880
Davis, William – born July 22, 1880
Dawson, Arthur – born October 16, 1897
Dawson, Joe – birth not given
Day, Ferdinand T – born October 27, 1894
Day, Robert W – born September 27, 1888
Dean, Charles – born June 15, 1894
Dean, Clarence – born October 6, 1899
Dean, Washington – born May 5, 1878
Derr, Ralph Mayfield – born September 20, 1897
Diggs, James Henry – born May 8, 1888
Diggs, Julian – born September 30, 1894
Diggs, Richard – born September 10, 1881
Diggs, William Henry – born April 25, 1899
Dinkina, James – born January 18, 1892
Dixon, Edward – born January 18, 1880
Dixon, Ernest – born October 19, 1880
Dixon, Herbert O – born February 2, 1896
Dixon, James Henry – born January 20, 1883
Dixon, John – born April 1, 1880
Dixon, Lucian Odell – born June 27, 1896
Dixon, Moses – born April 16, 1873
Dixon, William – born August 10, 1894
Dobbins, Charles Henry – born December 16, 1877
Dodson, Malachi – born November 2, 1898
Dogan, William Sanford – born October 17, 1875
Dorsey, Vincent – born November 7, 1890
Doss, James Lacey – born December 1, 1893
Douglas, Harrison – born December 8, 1888
Douglas, John Clarence – born November 17, 1899
Drayton, Charles H – born October 25, 1891
Duckett, Joseph DeSilva – born August 29, 1900
Dudley, Benjamin – birth not given
Dudley, Irvine – born November 22, 1889
Dudley, Isham – born May 2, 1896
Dudley, James Samuel – born October 10, 1899
Dudley, Joseph J – born May 7, 1894
Dulaney, Robert – born April 26, 1891
Duncan, Thomas – born June 4, 1897
Duncan, William H – born July 25, 1886

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