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Cemetery tours to focus on Revolutionary War soldiers

Scott Britton, executive director of The Castle Museum, speaks about Revolutionary soldiers at the Mound Cemetery in 2019. He will be holding the Patriots Tour again this Saturday. (Photo by Art Smith)

Two cemetery tours this weekend will introduce attendees to lesser known Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Marietta.

Held at 10 a.m. and noon Saturday at the Mound Cemetery, the tours will lead participants through the cemetery where more Revolutionary War officers are buried than any other cemetery in the U.S., said Scott Britton, executive director of The Castle Museum.

There are 39 total Revolutionary War soldiers buried there, 19 of which are officers, he said.

Britton has been the tour guide of Revolutionary War soldiers for six or seven years. He tries to talk about different soldiers every year to keep the tour fresh.

“I’m telling the particular stories and giving education of some of the lesser known stories that were pretty profound and pretty important that people might not be aware of,” he said.

The tours last about an hour, with one starting at 10 a.m. and the second one at noon. Britton said people are encouraged to register in advance on The Castle’s website at mariettacastle.org. Tickets are $10 per person.

“If you have questions about the tour, call 740-373-4180,” Britton said.

The tours begin at the cemetery.

Britton said he’s been doing the tour probably six or seven years, but he’s been telling the stories for much longer than that. Each tour has been different.

“We’re going to do a little different route around the cemetery,” Britton said. “Normally, most of the tours I give are on the left side of the cemetery. This year, I’m doing more of the right side and finishing at the back with Rufus Putnam. Some people you have to tell a little of their history every year, like Rufus Putnam, because of the importance of his contribution.”

He said a new soldier was found last year in the cemetery.

“We think that is true based on some documentation found. He’ll be on the tour on the right hand side,” Britton said.

Tony Durm, president of the Marietta chapter of the Sons of American Revolution, said these tours are important because the city was the start of the Northwest Territory.

“It’s the first footprint outside of the first 13 states,” he said. “All of the expansion west started in Marietta. That’s where the Ohio Company Associates landed and made their home in the wilderness.”

He said Washington County is where the patriots came to live and experience the freedom they fought for.

“The good thing with these tours is it puts a name to a real person that lived here, not only their military service, but the things they were involved in,” Durm said.

Britton said the holiday and the war are inescapably bound.

“Independence Day is associated with the Revolutionary War and the contribution of the Marietta soldiers,” he said. “All of the major engagements in the Revolutionary War are represented in the Mound Cemetery, and how the county was formed from the first shots to the surrender at Yorktown and everything in between.”

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