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Dozens Of Volunteers Clean Black Civil War Cemetery In New Jersey

FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Dozens of people volunteered Saturday to help clean up a Black Civil War cemetery in New Jersey.

The Squirrel Town Historical Cemetery in Freehold is the final resting place of many Black Civil War veterans.

Over the years, it's fallen into disrepair, but leaders of the Bethel AME Church organized clean-up efforts and hope to restore it.

"What we want to do is to be able to maintain and get it back to its prominence. It's not only Bethel history, Freehold history, New Jersey history, but it's U.S. history ... And so our hope is to get in contact with the U.S. government to let them know that it's here because we want it to look like a military cemetery," Rev. Ronald Sparks told CBS2's John Elliott.

The cemetery was active from 1860 to the early 1900s.

The church is also hoping to complete a list of all the soldiers and their family members who are buried there.

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