Civil War memorial, tombstones toppled in Fitchburg

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A limestone memorial to Civil War dead from Company A, 53d Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, lies on its side atop Laurel Hill Cemetery, knocked from its pedestal along with 90 other tombstones in a spree of vandalism.

The memorial in the historic graveyard contains the weathered names of Fitchburg men who lost their lives to combat or disease in a bloody campaign near the Mississippi River in 1863. Now, their descendants scattered and their exploits all but forgotten, the marker is just another stone upended in one of the worst acts of cemetery vandalism to hit this small city.

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