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JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION June 17, 2006 Bedford, PA David E. Brown Columbia, MD

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Presentation on theme: "JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION June 17, 2006 Bedford, PA David E. Brown Columbia, MD"— Presentation transcript:

1 JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION June 17, 2006 Bedford, PA David E. Brown Columbia, MD

2 My Personal Discovery Great-Great Grandfather’s photo at Grandmother’s Great-Great Grandfather’s photo at Grandmother’s Civil War Documents found in 1990s Civil War Documents found in 1990s Search of Internet - Civil War Soldier and Sailors Project Search of Internet - Civil War Soldier and Sailors Project Interest in developing a web site Interest in developing a web site

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4 Private Samuel Truehart Private Samuel Truehart Pre- war Pre- war –Born in Indiana in 1843 –Slave, according to muster roles –Married to Mary Elliott, also a slave, in summer of 1864 War Service War Service –Mustered into 5 th USCC at Camp Nelson Kentucky on Sept. 12, 1864 –Likely participated in two raids on Saltville –Mustered out in Arkansas in 1866

5 Samuel Truehart Post-war Post-war –Children born after war in Kentucky –Four children survived to adulthood –Part exodus of Black Kentuckians to black township - Nicodemus, Kansas –Lived in Acheson, Kansas and farmed land granted and purchased in Western Kansas –Died August 12, 1897 –160 acres of land in Graham County, Kansas still held by lone great-grand daughter

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13 History of African Americans in the Civil War "Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States." - - Frederick Douglass "Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States." - - Frederick Douglass These words moved many African Americans to enlist in the Union Army and fight for their freedom. These words moved many African Americans to enlist in the Union Army and fight for their freedom. With Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the Civil War became a war to save the union and to abolish slavery. With Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the Civil War became a war to save the union and to abolish slavery.

14 African Americans in the Civil War On July 17, 1862, Congress passed two acts allowing the enlistment of African Americans, On July 17, 1862, Congress passed two acts allowing the enlistment of African Americans, Official enrollment occurred only after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation Official enrollment occurred only after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation Approximately 180,000 African Americans comprising 163 units served in the Union Army during the Civil War: Approximately 180,000 African Americans comprising 163 units served in the Union Army during the Civil War: –1 LIGHT ARTILLERY REGIMENT –7 CAVALRY REGIMENTS –13 HEAVY ARTILLERY REGIMENTS –144 INFANTRY REGIMENTS Both free African-Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight. Both free African-Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight. Louisiana furnished 24,000 men; Kentucky - 23,000 men; Tennessee - 20,000 men; and Mississippi - 18,000 men. Louisiana furnished 24,000 men; Kentucky - 23,000 men; Tennessee - 20,000 men; and Mississippi - 18,000 men.

15 African Americans in the Civil War Many white soldiers and officers believed that black men lacked the courage to fight and fight well. Many white soldiers and officers believed that black men lacked the courage to fight and fight well. In October 1862, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers silenced critics by repulsing Confederates at battle of Island Mound, Missouri. In October 1862, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers silenced critics by repulsing Confederates at battle of Island Mound, Missouri. Most widely known battle fought by African Americans was assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, by the 54th Massachusetts on July 18, Most widely known battle fought by African Americans was assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, by the 54th Massachusetts on July 18, The 54th volunteered to lead the assault on the strongly-fortified Confederate position. The 54th volunteered to lead the assault on the strongly-fortified Confederate position. The soldiers of the 54th scaled the fort's parapet and were driven back after brutal hand-to-hand combat. The soldiers of the 54th scaled the fort's parapet and were driven back after brutal hand-to-hand combat.

16 African Americans in the Civil War The Battle of New Market Heights, Virginia became was one of the most heroic engagements involving African Americans. The Battle of New Market Heights, Virginia became was one of the most heroic engagements involving African Americans. On September 29, 1864, the Eighteenth Corps, charged the earthworks and rushed up the slopes of the heights. On September 29, 1864, the Eighteenth Corps, charged the earthworks and rushed up the slopes of the heights. During the hour-long engagement the division suffered tremendous casualties. During the hour-long engagement the division suffered tremendous casualties. Of the sixteen African Americans who were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, fourteen received the honor as a result of their actions at New Market Heights. Of the sixteen African Americans who were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, fourteen received the honor as a result of their actions at New Market Heights. (Photo above is of Powhatan Beaty, First Sergeant 5 th USCT who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service at the Battle of New Market Heights)

17 History of African Americans in the Civil War African American soldiers participated in every major campaign of except Sherman's invasion of Georgia. African American soldiers participated in every major campaign of except Sherman's invasion of Georgia. The United States Colored Troops participated in 449 engagements of which 39 were major battles The United States Colored Troops participated in 449 engagements of which 39 were major battles African American soldiers comprised 10% of the entire Union Army African American soldiers comprised 10% of the entire Union Army Losses among African Americans were high, approximately one-third of all African Americans mustered lost their lives during the Civil War. Losses among African Americans were high, approximately one-third of all African Americans mustered lost their lives during the Civil War.

18 African American Civil War Memorial Unveiled on July 18, 1998, the sculpture stands ten feet tall Unveiled on July 18, 1998, the sculpture stands ten feet tall The Spirit of Freedom sculpture is encircled by the Wall of Honor The Spirit of Freedom sculpture is encircled by the Wall of Honor The Wall of Honor lists the names of 209,145 United States Colored Troops The Wall of Honor lists the names of 209,145 United States Colored Troops The names include the 7,000 white officers who served with USCT The names include the 7,000 white officers who served with USCT First major art piece by a black sculptor to be placed on federal land in the District of Columbia First major art piece by a black sculptor to be placed on federal land in the District of Columbia

19 The African American Civil War Memorial The Spirit of Freedom

20 My Initial Research in 1996 The Saltville Massacre by Thomas D. Mays, published in 1995 by Ryan Place Publishers, The Saltville Massacre by Thomas D. Mays, published in 1995 by Ryan Place Publishers, "The Battle of Saltville: Massacre or Myth?" by William Marvel, August 1991 issue of Blue and Gray Magazine / (Volume VIII, Number 6) "The Battle of Saltville: Massacre or Myth?" by William Marvel, August 1991 issue of Blue and Gray Magazine / (Volume VIII, Number 6) The National Park Services’ Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Project The National Park Services’ Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Project The Internet The Internet

21 5 th United States Colored Cavalry In early 1864, Union Gen. Stephen Burbridge, commander of Military District of Kentucky, authorized formation of "colored" units comprised of freedmen, ex-slaves, and slaves In early 1864, Union Gen. Stephen Burbridge, commander of Military District of Kentucky, authorized formation of "colored" units comprised of freedmen, ex-slaves, and slaves On June 30, 1864, Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas authorized officers of 5th USCC to begin selecting recruits On June 30, 1864, Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas authorized officers of 5th USCC to begin selecting recruits Colonel James Brisbin, a well known abolitionist, became commander of 5 th USCC. Colonel James Brisbin, a well known abolitionist, became commander of 5 th USCC. Many companies recruited at Camp Nelson, Kentucky Many companies recruited at Camp Nelson, Kentucky Nearly all recruits were former slaves Nearly all recruits were former slaves

22 5 th United States Colored Cavalry Regiment was attached to the 1st Division, District of Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio until February Regiment was attached to the 1st Division, District of Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio until February They bravely participated in Burbridge's Raid from Kentucky into Southwestern Virginia from Sept. 20 to Oct. 17, 1864, during which they saw fierce action at Saltville, Virginia. They bravely participated in Burbridge's Raid from Kentucky into Southwestern Virginia from Sept. 20 to Oct. 17, 1864, during which they saw fierce action at Saltville, Virginia. The regiment participated in Stoneman's Raid December 10 to 29, which resulted in capture of Saltville and destruction of the salt works The regiment participated in Stoneman's Raid December 10 to 29, which resulted in capture of Saltville and destruction of the salt works The unit was mustered out in Helena, Arkansas on March 20, The unit was mustered out in Helena, Arkansas on March 20, 1866.

23 The First Battle of Saltville Regiment participated in Gen. Burbridge’s Raid to capture saltworks before being organized Regiment participated in Gen. Burbridge’s Raid to capture saltworks before being organized Troops were unprepared for battle, many mustered just a few weeks before raid Troops were unprepared for battle, many mustered just a few weeks before raid Regiment was poorly equipped; issued rifles not suitable for shooting from horseback Regiment was poorly equipped; issued rifles not suitable for shooting from horseback Ridiculed by white Union troops on way to Saltville Ridiculed by white Union troops on way to Saltville Chosen to lead charge of Chestnut Ridge Oct. 2 Chosen to lead charge of Chestnut Ridge Oct. 2 Took ridge, but were not reinforced and were forced to retreat when ammo was depleted Took ridge, but were not reinforced and were forced to retreat when ammo was depleted

24 The First Battle of Saltville Despite the outcome of the battle, their fellow soldiers lauded the performance of the 5th USCC during the assault of Chestnut Ridge. Despite the outcome of the battle, their fellow soldiers lauded the performance of the 5th USCC during the assault of Chestnut Ridge. An officer of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry stated: An officer of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry stated: "never saw troops fight like they did. The rebels were firing on them with grape and canister and were mowing them down by the scores but others kept straight on." Col. Brisbin wrote: Col. Brisbin wrote: "I have seen white troops fight in twenty-seven battles and never saw any fight any better "I have seen white troops fight in twenty-seven battles and never saw any fight any better

25 Saltville Massacre After the battle, the wounded were abandoned on battlefield After the battle, the wounded were abandoned on battlefield Gen. Burbridge hightailed it to Kentucky for his own safety fearing Confederate reinforcements Gen. Burbridge hightailed it to Kentucky for his own safety fearing Confederate reinforcements Wounded and captured Black troops were murdered morning after by Confederate troops led by Champ Ferguson, a confederate guerilla, and Gen. Felix Robertson Wounded and captured Black troops were murdered morning after by Confederate troops led by Champ Ferguson, a confederate guerilla, and Gen. Felix Robertson Confederate reports of the day indicated over 150 black troops were massacred Confederate reports of the day indicated over 150 black troops were massacred Perpetrators were sought by Confederate Government, but never captured Perpetrators were sought by Confederate Government, but never captured Ferguson was executed for war crimes after war for murder of white Union officer and other crimes Ferguson was executed for war crimes after war for murder of white Union officer and other crimes Similar to events at Fort Pillow and Millken’s Bend Similar to events at Fort Pillow and Millken’s Bend

26 Conflicting Accounts Historians to this day dispute the true extent of the massacre Historians to this day dispute the true extent of the massacre Thomas Mays: "A conservative estimate is the number of black murdered at Saltville is forty-six. These are the men listed and kept on the rolls as MIAs (missing in action) until well after the war." Thomas Mays: "A conservative estimate is the number of black murdered at Saltville is forty-six. These are the men listed and kept on the rolls as MIAs (missing in action) until well after the war." William Marvel: "The remaining loss breaks down as follows: 20 killed outright, 63 wounded, and 31 missing...By April of 1865, one white officer and 15 enlisted men had returned to duty.” William Marvel: "The remaining loss breaks down as follows: 20 killed outright, 63 wounded, and 31 missing...By April of 1865, one white officer and 15 enlisted men had returned to duty.”

27 Probing the Mystery Conducted extensive Research at National Archives, with help of four others. Reviewed: Conducted extensive Research at National Archives, with help of four others. Reviewed: –Muster Rolls –Individual and Regimental Service Records –Surgeon Records –Pension Records Undertook process of elimination to identify MIAs Undertook process of elimination to identify MIAs Duplicated research of historians, Marvel and Mays, and went further than either Duplicated research of historians, Marvel and Mays, and went further than either Revealed that at least 45 to 50 of men were never accounted for, presumed to have been murdered Revealed that at least 45 to 50 of men were never accounted for, presumed to have been murdered This research affirmed Mays' conclusion. This research affirmed Mays' conclusion.

28 Additional Research Examined service records of white soldiers who witnessed massacre, and Ferguson’s trial transcript Examined service records of white soldiers who witnessed massacre, and Ferguson’s trial transcript Discovered Lt. George Cutler was witness not Carter Discovered Lt. George Cutler was witness not Carter Marvel Responds: Marvel Responds: “ …if I only a few of them proved to be victims -- say 24, instead of my it would still increase my earlier calculations by a significant proportion.” “ …if I only a few of them proved to be victims -- say 24, instead of my it would still increase my earlier calculations by a significant proportion.”

29 Saltville Recognition First recognition ceremony held on October 2, 1999 First recognition ceremony held on October 2, 1999 First tribute to fallen men of 5 th & 6 th USCC First tribute to fallen men of 5 th & 6 th USCC Consecration of ground & “funeral” 134 years after the massacre Consecration of ground & “funeral” 134 years after the massacre Luminaries lit for each of the fallen Luminaries lit for each of the fallen Ceremonies held each year since organized by residents of Saltville and nearby Bluefield, WV Ceremonies held each year since organized by residents of Saltville and nearby Bluefield, WV 54th Massachusetts, white Union, and Confederate Reenactors have participated 54th Massachusetts, white Union, and Confederate Reenactors have participated Memorial statute being commissioned Memorial statute being commissioned NASA aerial images of Saltville using specialized equipment mounted on a DC-8 and a modified U-2 spy plane to locate mass burial site NASA aerial images of Saltville using specialized equipment mounted on a DC-8 and a modified U-2 spy plane to locate mass burial site

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38 History of 5 th USCC History of 5 th USCC Battle Summaries Battle Summaries Complete Regimental Roster Complete Regimental Roster Bio of my ancestor Bio of my ancestor Analysis of the Massacre and the Conflicting Accounts Analysis of the Massacre and the Conflicting Accounts Table detailing and contrasting all archival records reviewed Table detailing and contrasting all archival records reviewed Documents & Photos Documents & Photos Accounts of Annual Tribute Accounts of Annual Tribute Recent News Coverage Recent News Coverage

39 Reactions to web site Researching history - what is the truth Researching history - what is the truth Racist responses to web site Racist responses to web site Neo-confederates - denial of massacres Neo-confederates - denial of massacres

40 Recent Media Coverage in: Atlanta Journal Constitution Atlanta Journal Constitution Roanoke Times Roanoke Times Richmond Times Dispatch Richmond Times Dispatch Southern Exposure Magazine Southern Exposure Magazine The Washington Post The Washington Post

41 Other Impacts Mays and Marvel have incorporated findings in new works (Truehart photo in “Black Soldiers in Blue”) Mays and Marvel have incorporated findings in new works (Truehart photo in “Black Soldiers in Blue”) Descendants found information; posted their ancestor’s bios Descendants found information; posted their ancestor’s bios Artist inspired to render painting Artist inspired to render painting Website used in college and high school history curricula Website used in college and high school history curricula Attention focused on locating the mass graves Attention focused on locating the mass graves

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43 Members of the 5th USCC Listed as Missing in Action After the Battle of Saltville and Still Unaccounted Anderson, Jefferson Anderson, Jefferson Baker, William Baker, William Bedford, Henry Bedford, Henry Black, Joseph Black, Joseph Blackmore, Peter Blackmore, Peter Bradford, Frank Bradford, Frank Brown, Jefferson Brown, Jefferson Brown, Lewis Browning, Henry Brown, Lewis Browning, Henry Chinn, John Chinn, John Cissell, Charles Cissell, Charles Cissell, William Cissell, William Clay, John Clay, John Clay, George Clay, George Clay, John Will, Clay, John Will, Crutcher, Andrew Crutcher, Andrew Downing, Henry Downing, Henry Dunn, William Dunn, William Dunston, Noah Dunston, Noah Finch, Peter Finch, Peter Fox, Wiley Fox, Wiley Garry, William Garry, William Gordon, Phillip Gordon, Phillip Griffen, Perry Griffen, Perry Grigsby, Richard Grigsby, Richard Grigsby, George Grigsby, George Hammond, George Hammond, George Harriman, Jackson Harriman, Jackson Harris, Samuel Harris, Samuel Harrison, Samuel Harrison, Samuel Hicks, David Hicks, David Hunter, John Hunter, John Jackson, Thomas Jackson, Thomas James, James James, James Jefferson, Andrew Jefferson, Andrew Johnston, Benjamin Johnston, Benjamin Leach/Lirch/Leich, Julius Leach/Lirch/Leich, Julius Lewis, George Lewis, George Lewis, James Lewis, James Martin, William Martin, William Martin, Zachariah Martin, Zachariah Mason, Robert Mason, Robert Massey, Joseph Massey, Joseph Miller, Samuel/Saul Miller, Samuel/Saul Money, Joseph Money, Joseph Neal, Dudley Neal, Dudley Robinson, Samuel Robinson, Samuel Scott, King Scott, King Scott, Lowrie Scott, Lowrie Seals, Alexander Seals, Alexander Simpson, Isiah Simpson, Isiah Sloan/Slown, Thomas Sloan/Slown, Thomas Smith, John Smith, John Smithson, James T Smithson, James T Taylor, James Taylor, James Thomas, Grant Thomas, Grant Thompson Albert Thompson Albert Tutt/Trott, Peter Tutt/Trott, Peter Williams, James Williams, James

44 U.S. Government’s Responsibility 5 th USCC MIAs never officially accounted for 5 th USCC MIAs never officially accounted for No concerted effort to investigate the incident or recover the fallen soldiers during or after the war No concerted effort to investigate the incident or recover the fallen soldiers during or after the war Current reluctance to determine site of mass burial Current reluctance to determine site of mass burial Park Service concerns about “disturbing burial grounds” Park Service concerns about “disturbing burial grounds” Men of the 5 th USCC were not buried by their families, but unceremoniously dumped in mass grave by their murderers (Kosovo) Men of the 5 th USCC were not buried by their families, but unceremoniously dumped in mass grave by their murderers (Kosovo) The U.S. Government, for which they were killed serving, owes them no less for their sacrifice The U.S. Government, for which they were killed serving, owes them no less for their sacrifice

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46 For more information:


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