A Veteran of the Civil War, Mr. Elias Cole is buried in Ellsworth Cemetery. The Veterans Administration approved the application for his headstone last month.
Mr. Cole was born on December 4, 1833. His mother may have been Margaret Cole, who was born in Maryland in 1799. Likely he was born enslaved, although his enslavers have not yet been found.
In 1860, Mr. Cole is living with a young girl named Elizabeth (probably his daughter) and his mother in Carroll County. He enlisted in the US Colored Troops in August of 1863, and served in Company F. He was with General Butler’s forces in Virginia. Private Cole helped to dig the Dutch Gap Canal. The men were under fire the entire time from the nearby rebel forces. He was wounded in his hand on August 28, 1864. Private Cole returned to active duty, and was mustered out with the Regiment in June of 1865.
Mr. Cole returned to Westminster, where he worked as a laborer and lived with his wife, Elizabeth. In late 1870, his wife separated from him, leaving his home. In the winter of 1883, he was in a serious fight with one of his neighbors. His injurious were so severe that he lost an eye.
He was continued to live in Westminster, no longer working by 1900, although in receipt of his Civil War pension. He moved to the Alms House, likely unable to support himself any longer.
Mr. Elias Cole died on December 8, 1905, and is buried in an unmarked grave in Ellsworth Cemetery. His VA headstone has been approved and will be installed in the coming weeks, as part of the general restoration of the cemetery.