The Stories That Could Be Told From A Cheektowaga Cemetery
I’m always amazed at the impact this area had on American history. Most of the worst battles of the War of 1812 happened right here. The villages of Lewiston, Youngstown and Black Rock were destroyed. The village of Buffalo was burned to the ground by the British.
You’ve heard of Lovejoy Street and Buffalo’s Lovejoy neighborhood. The only woman killed in the burning of Buffalo was Sarah Lovejoy. She’s buried in Forest Lawn.
When Buffalo was burned residents fled to the safety of Williamsville where American troops were stationed. General Winfield Scott used the Evans House as his headquarters to direct his army of nearly 6,000 men. Their camp or garrison was located between Ellicott Creek and a road that is known today as Garrison Road.
Both American and British wounded soldiers were treated at the garrison hospital. Those who didn’t make it were transported about a mile to the back of a farmer’s field where they were buried in shallow trenches. That field is along Aero Drive near the airport and it’s known both as the War of 1812 Cemetery or the Garrison Road Cemetery.
It’s a tiny cemetery and if you blink you’ll miss it, but it’s a national historic site. A radar inspection shows there are at least 500 soldiers buried there.