Harmon LeRoy Salsbury, born 1838 in Orlean County, New York, enlisted 26 August 1862 as a private in the 151st New York State Volunteers. Later promoted to sergeant, Salsbury was discharged in early 1864 whereupon he was appointed 8 February 1864 as a captain in Company D, 26th U.S. Colored Infantry at Riker's Island, New York. He saw action in South Carolina at John's Island on 5 July 1864, at the Battle of Bloody Bridge on 7 July 1864, and at a skirmish at McKay's Point on 8 December 1864. He remained in South Carolina with the occupation forces until he was discharged from the Army on 28 August 1865.
Following the war, Harmon Salsbury relocated to Vienna in Fairfax County, Virginia, where he jointly purchased land near the downtown area with a family member, George Salsbury. Harmon lived on his property, grew an orchard, and was known to be a farmer. His first wife was Sarah Danby, believed to be British, but she reportedly died at age 31 while attempting to give birth to their child. Both she and the child reportedly were buried in the yard of Harmon's home (which was once located on Walnut Lane NW - it has been demolished), under a tree, where Harmon forbid children to play. Harmon's second wife was Susanna Freeman of Vienna, Virginia.
Salsbury sold parcels of his land to black freedmen, at a price and under terms that were lenient by standards of the day. Though known to be sensitive to the hardships of blacks in society, perhaps in part due to his role as a white officer of a black Army unit, there was no evidence to show that any of the land was sold to any black soldiers with whom Harmon served. A portion of Salsbury's land was set aside as a cemetery for black residents, now known as West End Cemetery in Vienna, Virginia. Another plot of land was sold to trustees Andrew Minor, William Conway, and Silas Borgus for the Sons and Daughters Cemetery on Orchard Street a few blocks from West End Cemetery.
Among the first people buried in the graveyard was Daniel W. West, who also served during the War Between the States, but in service to the Confederate States of America. Born 1845 on the "Mantua" plantation in Fairfax County, Virginia, during the war West was the personal valet and servant to Major John H. Chichester, of General Longstreet's staff. After Major Chichester's death, or there about, West became the servant of Major Chichester's brother. After the war, West was a laborer in Vienna, Virginia, and worked for (former) Union Major O. E. Hine, but West eventually purchased a piece of land near the Salsbury residence, south of Lawyer's Street in Vienna, Virginia. After he died on 5 April 1907, he was laid to rest in cemetery granted by Harmon Salsbury.
Harmon Salsbury died in 1913. At the Merrifield Cemetery a couple miles southeast of Vienna, Harmon was buried in a small, modest graveyard where he was reunited with his wife Susanna, who preceded him in death in 1903.
Susanna Freeman Salsbury (1857 - 1903)
1857 - 1903
1838 - 1913
Annis Salsbury Spayth
1882 - 1957
Note: This photo is difficult to capture because of the flecked stone.
Created by: Poivre
Record added: Jul 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28563447
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