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Sheffield Historical Society presents ‘Dedication and Celebration: Honoring Civil War Veteran William Jones – Massachusetts 54th Infantry Company B’

The dedication will take place at Center Cemetery in Sheffield on Berkshire School Road at 11 a.m.

Sheffield — Join the Sheffield Historical Society for a momentous day of history and celebration as they unveil the headstone of 54th Massachusetts Regiment veteran William Jones. His grandfather Jethro Jones served in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. A lifelong Sheffield resident, William Jones enlisted in the Civil War at the age of 45 alongside two of his nephews, Henry Jones and Samuel S. Jones, both 19-year-old Pittsfield natives. Jones’ unwavering commitment to the Union’s cause and the fight for freedom was nothing short of inspirational.

The dedication will take place at Center Cemetery in Sheffield on Berkshire School Road at Wednesday, May 1 at 11 a.m. Members from the Massachusetts National Guard and the Massachusetts 54th re-enactors will be present. State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D – 3rd Berkshire District), as well as members of the Sheffield Center Cemetery board, Sheffield Historical Society, and Mount Everett National Honors Society, will be on hand.

This event is part of many talks and exhibits in the Sheffield Historical Society’s “After Elizabeth Freeman: the Untold Story of the Black Community of Sheffield” series, a collaboration with Westfield State University. Jocelyn Jones Arnold, William’s great-great-grandniece, has led shared the historical and genealogical research that led to the discovery of the remarkable life of her uncle and shed light on his life and service in the 54th, as well as the family’s connections to notable Berkshire County-based African Americans, including W.E.B Du Bois, Samuel Harrison, and Ulysses Franklin Grant. Funding for this project is from Massachusetts Humanities Council and the Sheffield Historical Society.


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