Ohio

Army of volunteers helps restore historic Civil War cemetery

  • In this March 16, 2016 photo, volunteers perform maintenance on gravestones at Chalmette National Cemetery in Chalmette, La. College students on spring break joined hundreds of other volunteers at a cemetery dating to the Civil War, realigning hundreds of tilted headstones and scrubbing grime from thousands more. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

    In this March 16, 2016 photo, volunteers perform maintenance on gravestones at Chalmette National Cemetery in Chalmette, La. College students on spring break joined hundreds of other volunteers at a cemetery dating to the Civil War, realigning hundreds of tilted headstones and scrubbing grime from thousands more. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)  (The Associated Press)

  • ADDS NAMES OF STUDENTS - In this March 16, 2016 photo, Ohio State University students Kayla Devan, Brianna Brown and other volunteers scrub gravestones at Chalmette National Cemetery in Chalmette, La. College students on spring break joined hundreds of other volunteers at a cemetery dating to the Civil War, realigning hundreds of tilted headstones and scrubbing grime from thousands more. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

    ADDS NAMES OF STUDENTS - In this March 16, 2016 photo, Ohio State University students Kayla Devan, Brianna Brown and other volunteers scrub gravestones at Chalmette National Cemetery in Chalmette, La. College students on spring break joined hundreds of other volunteers at a cemetery dating to the Civil War, realigning hundreds of tilted headstones and scrubbing grime from thousands more. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)  (The Associated Press)

  • In a Wednesday, March 16, 2016 photo, Ohio State University students Willie Love, left,, of Cincinnati, and Ashauna Mathews, of Canton, Ohio, spray a cleaning solution on gravestones at Chalmette National Cemetery in Chalmette, La. Between them is Jasmine Harris, of Cleveland. They were among about 50 Ohio State students working at the cemetery, as part of a nearly month-long project organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)

    In a Wednesday, March 16, 2016 photo, Ohio State University students Willie Love, left,, of Cincinnati, and Ashauna Mathews, of Canton, Ohio, spray a cleaning solution on gravestones at Chalmette National Cemetery in Chalmette, La. Between them is Jasmine Harris, of Cleveland. They were among about 50 Ohio State students working at the cemetery, as part of a nearly month-long project organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (AP Photo/Janet McConnaughey)  (The Associated Press)

College students on spring break have joined hundreds of other volunteers at a cemetery dating to the Civil War, realigning hundreds of tilted headstones and scrubbing grime from thousands more.

The cemetery holds the graves of thousands of Union soldiers, and others from later eras.

The volunteers have restored thousands of the roughly 8,000 headstones and other markers at the Chalmette National Cemetery beside the Mississippi River near New Orleans. More than 260 headstones have been put back upright.

More than 150 years after the deadliest conflict on American soil, custodians of many such cemeteries are still doing battle in their upkeep. The cemetery in Louisiana was created in 1864, when Union troops occupied New Orleans. It holds about 6,000 graves of unknown soldiers.