Civil War soldiers resting peacefully in Delaware

No, the bodies of Civil War soldiers buried in Delaware are not being exhumed and tossed into Alum Creek.

A pair of stories that were published on the satire website Delaware Ohio News have caused a bit of a stir in recent days. The first story stated that Delaware City Council passed a resolution calling for the bodies of all Confederate soldiers buried at Oak Grove Cemetery to be exhumed and dumped into Alum Creek. A subsequent story stated that Gov. John Kasich had signed off on the removal of Confederate soldiers’ bodies from Ohio cemeteries.

Neither story is true, as proven by the fact that the site on which they originated states as much. The manager of the website clearly states on its front page that “everything on this website is made up. Do not rely on anything said here.”

City spokesman Lee Yoakum also confirmed that Delaware City Council took no such action regarding the cemetery. No resolution on the subject was considered at the most recent council meeting, according to the agenda.

As expected, however, the satire pieces regarding the current hot-button topic found a foothold on social media and resulted in several people — mostly from outside of the state of Ohio — contacting The Gazette this week to express their dismay about the rumor or confirm its validity.

The City of Delaware also received several calls about the matter, Yoakum said.

Back to reality, Delaware County is, in fact, the final resting place for numerous soldiers — both blue and gray — who lost their lives during and after the Civil War.

“Preliminary research shows that we indeed did have Delaware County men who served on the Confederate side and were buried in the county,” Delaware County Historical Society Executive Director Donna Meyer wrote in an email to The Gazette. “I have found a document online … which says we do have Confederate soldiers buried at Oak Grove. That was surprising.”

Meyer said she will share the results of her research with The Gazette once it’s completed.

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Rumors of bodies being exhumed is false

By Andrew Carter

Councilman George Hellinger commented on a link Delaware Gazette shared:

I received a call on Wednesday from an individual in Pennsylvania regarding the fake news story. The man was upset that the city could disinter veterans. Once I informed him that the story was satire, not factual, he de-escalated and calmed himself. This incident illustrates the ease at which mis-information can be cultivated and spread by parties that consume content from alternative news and entertainment sources, accepting it as fact instead of being skeptical and fact0checking key elements of the story. Each of us has the ability and the responsibility to identify and call out mis-information when presented to us.

Follow Andrew Carter on Twitter @DelOhioEditor.