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Tag: United States Colored Troops

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SC Freedmen's Bureau Records: USCT Bounty Claims

USCT Bounty Claims and the Information They Contain

Above: Announcement of Additional Military Bounties, Charleston Daily News, 12 Nov 1866

Announcement of Additional Military Bounties, Charleston Daily News, 12 Nov 1866 1

Bounties were monetary or material incentives paid for enlisting in the military, or rewards for service in the military. Soldiers, veterans or their survivors may have collected bounties for service in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) or the United States Navy in the Civil War. During its operation from 1865-1872, the Freedmen's Bureau acted as the agent for the payment of bounties to USCT veterans in South Carolina. 2

In order to collect a bounty, soldiers, veterans or their heirs filed an application known as a bounty claim. Among the records in the new FamilySearch collection South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872 are several types of documents related to the payment of bounties. Registers of bounty claims filed, the bounty claims themselves and registers of bounties paid may hold valuable information concerning your ancestor's residence prior to 1870 and their service in the military.

Did Your Civil War-Era Ancestor Serve in the Military?

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System hosted by the National Park Service is a free searchable database of the names of those who served in Union or Confederate forces during the Civil War. Here you can search to see if your ancestor served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) or the US Navy during the war. Search forms for soldiers and sailors are separate, so be sure to search both for your ancestor's name.

Soldiers and Sailors Search Form


Soldiers and Sailors Search for Sailors

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website also offers information on the histories of Union and Confederate regiments and links to related information about significant battles, prisoner of war records and cemetery records. 3

If your ancestor served in the USCT or US Navy during the Civil War, there may be bounty claim records in the new FamilySearch collection that will further your research.

Bounty Claims and Related Documents

To view bounty claims and related documents within the new FamilySearch collection South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872, browse to "Claim Division" records.

Claim Division Tutorial

The bulk of records concerning bounty claims appear there, however correspondence concerning bounty claims is scattered throughout the new collection, and some registers of bounty claims may have been filed in miscellaneous records.

Let's look at a few examples of documents related to bounty claims.

Register of Bounty Claims, Reel 23

Reel 23 of the Claim Division records contains four registers of bounty claims. This is a good place to start looking for records for your ancestor. The registers overlap in dates and are similar in content, however each may contain unique information so it is best to browse through all four volumes. Of these, volume four is the most comprehensive as it notes the disposition of claims (allowed or not allowed). For each entry in volume four, there may be a bounty claim preserved on reel 24 of the collection. 4

Bounty Claims, Reel 24

Below is the bounty claim of Israel Singleton, who served in the US Navy during the Civil War (please click on images to view larger). 5

Singleton Israel US Navy Battery Wagner Survivor Bounty Claim Reel 24 P2 Singleton Israel US Navy Battery Wagner Survivor Bounty Claim Reel 24 P3

A bounty claim may contain the following information:

  • Branch of the military the veteran served in
  • When, where and for how long a term of service he enlisted
  • Rank held
  • Duty stations
  • Date of discharge
  • Date of the bounty claim
  • Testimony of two witnesses as to identity of the claimant, including how long they had been acquainted with the claimant, and the nature of their acquaintance
  • Post office location for return correspondence
  • Signatures of claimant, Notary and witnesses
Here we learn that Israel Singleton enlisted in the United States Navy 9 Dec 1862, for a term of three years. During his service as a Landsman he served on two vessels, the Restless and the Vermont.

Singleton Israel Bounty Claim Reel 23 top

Witnesses to his identity were Sandy Black and James Gilliard. They had known Israel Singleton for seven years.

Singlton Israel Witnesses

Occasionally an introductory letter or narrative accompanied a bounty claim. In Israel Singleton's claim, an accompanying letter reveals a remarkable story of his service. The letter states that Israel Singleton served in both the United States Navy and the United States Colored Troops. After he was discharged from the Navy on July 31, 1864, he enlisted in the United States Colored Troops.

   
Enclosure, Bounty Claim for Israel Singleton, 1867

Enclosure, Bounty Claim for Israel Singleton, 1867

I Found A Military Bounty Claim for My Ancestor. Now What?

If you find a bounty claim for your ancestor, other Civil War service records available on FamilySearch, Fold3 and Ancestry.com await your further research:

  • 1890 Veterans Schedules on FamilySearch: Census schedules listing veterans and widows of veterans
  • Civil War Service Records for United States Colored Troops on Fold3: These records may document the soldier's name, rank, details about his service, birthplace, place of enlistment, discharge date and place and often a physical description.
  • Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index on Fold3 and Ancestry.com: index cards for pension applications of veterans who served in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1900. You can search by name, or browse by regiment number.
  • Civil War "Widows' Pensions" on Fold3: approved pension applications of widows and other dependents of Civil War veterans
  • Freedmen's Bank Records on FamilySearch and Ancestry.com: Many USCT veterans opened accounts at The Freedmen's Savings and Trust (Freedmen's Bank) when they received bounty payments. The USCT company and regiment are often listed, as well as the names of a veteran's parents, spouse, children and siblings. Freedmen's Bank records may also include information on the depositor's birthplace, residence, occupation and employer.

References Cited

[1] "Discharged Soldiers: $100 Bounty." Classified Advertisement, Newspaper Advertisement, The Charleston Daily News, 12 Nov, 1866, Page 4. Chronicling America, Database Online at the Library of Congress, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov, Accessed 11 Jan 2014.

[2] Descriptive Pamphlet for Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA microfilm publication M1910, 106 rolls). Washington, D.C., National Archives and Records Administration, 2005.

[3] Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, Database Online at the National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm, Accessed 12 Jan 2014.

[4] Descriptive Pamphlet for Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA microfilm publication M1910, 106 rolls). Washington, D.C., National Archives and Records Administration, 2005.

[5] "South Carolina, Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-36668-14620-6?cc=2127881&wc=M9HH-DX9:80296183 : Accessed 13 Jan 2014), Claim Division > Roll 24, Registered Bounty Claims, Aug 1866-Oct 1870 > Image 171 of 178, Bounty Claim of Israel Singleton.

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Finds in FamilySearch Freedmen's Bureau Records ~ Reel 21, Georgetown Medical Officer Rations Requests

A Rich Find for Georgetown Research

As you might imagine, we've spent the last two days poring over the films in the new collection South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872 on FamilySearch. This new collection is the digitized version of Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910).

We've made some pretty rich finds by browsing through the volumes, and the latest find is on Reel 21: a volume of rations requests filed by the Georgetown Medical Officer from November 1865 to March 1866. The 498-frame volume preserves individual rations requests for elderly, infirm and orphaned freed people in Georgetown, SC.

If your research is focused on Georgetown, be sure to read through this 498-frame volume on Reel 21!

Example ~ Rations Request for Children of Sam Mitchell

Below is an example of a rations request that is rich in genealogical information. Here, Acting Assistant Surgeon Henry F. Heriot requests rations for Roselle Mitchell (age 9), Gabriel Mitchell (age 4) and Phyllis Mitchell (infant), children of Sam Mitchell who died while serving in the USCT:1

Rations Request for Children of Sam Mitchell

Above: Rations Request for Children of Sam Mitchell, Georgetown, SC, ca. 1866. Source: South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872, Database Online at FamilySearch.org, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-36669-12463-95?cc=2127881&wc=M9HH-DLT:n1176355678, Accessed 29 Dec 2013.

Service Record ~ Samuel Mitchell

Samuel Mitchell was 23 years old when he enlisted in the United States Colored Troops April 24, 1865 in Beaufort, SC. He was assigned to Company G, 104th USCT. June 13, 1865 he was promoted to Corporal. By June 25 he was sick in the Beaufort, SC camp hospital. In early August he was transferred to the David's Island Hospital in New York, where he remained a patient until October 3, when he was discharged for disability.2

References Cited

[1] South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872, Database Online at FamilySearch.org, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-36669-12463-95?cc=2127881&wc=M9HH-DLT:n1176355678, Accessed 29 Dec 2013.

[2] Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served the United States Colored Troops: 56th-138th USCT Infantry, 1864-1866, Database Online at Fold3.com. Record for Samuel Mitchell, Co. G, 104th USCT. http://www.fold3.com/image/273/302687358/, Accessed 29 Dec 2013.

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Accessing and Navigating the New FamilySearch Collection "South Carolina, Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872"

FamilySearch Has Digitized Freedmen's Bureau Records for South Carolina

Social networks are abuzz today with the happy news that FamilySearch has digitized all 106 rolls of the microfilm series Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910). This new collection of 118,737 images, which spans the years 1865-1872, is one of the most significant for tracing formerly enslaved ancestors in South Carolina, and its digitization is perhaps the most significant event for South Carolina researchers this year.

Accessing and Navigating the Records

Below are steps for identifying the records within the new collection that are of interest for your research.

Step 1 ~ Determine Which Office or Subordinate Field Office Was Nearest to the Location(s) You Are Researching

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Rufus Saxton, who directed the “Port Royal Experiment,” was appointed Assistant Commissioner for South Carolina in 1865. By 1867, several sub-districts had been created with Sub-Assistant Commissioners responsible for operations in their assigned locations. Sub-districts contained one or more Field Offices. The records within M1910 are arranged by Field Office, so it's important to know which Field Offices were closest to your area of interest. Field Office locations in South Carolina were:
 
  • Abbeville courthouse (agent)
  • Aiken (subassistant commissioner–bureau district of Anderson)
  • Aiken (subassistant commissioner–Edgefield district)
  • Anderson courthouse (acting subassistant commissioner–Anderson district)
  • Barnwell (subassistant commissioner–Barnwell district)
  • Beaufort (contraband department)
  • Beaufort (hospital)
  • Beaufort (subassistant commissioner)
  • Berkley district
  • Camden (subassistant commissioner)
  • Charleston (health department superintendent)
  • Charleston (hospitals)
  • Charleston (subassistant commissioner–6th subdistrict)
  • Cheraw (agent)
  • Chester (subassistant commissioner)
  • Columbia (acting assistant commissioner–District of Columbia)
  • Columbia (hospital)
  • Combahee Ferry (agent)
  • Darlington (acting assistant commissioner)
  • Darlington (acting assistant surgeon)
  • Darlington (subassistant commissioner)
  • Fairfield district
  • General collecting agent (Columbia, SC)
  • Georgetown (hospital)
  • Georgetown (subassistant commissioner)
  • Grahamville (agent)
  • Greenville (subassistant commissioner)
  • Hilton Head
  • Horry district (erroneously catalogued as Honey district)
  • Hopkins Turnout (acting assistant surgeon)
  • Johns Island (acting assistant surgeon)
  • Kingstree (subassistant commissioner)
  • Lancaster
  • Laurensville (subassistant commissioner)
  • Legareville (acting assistant surgeon)
  • Lexington
  • Manning (agent)
  • Marion (subassistant commissioner)
  • McClellanville
  • Moncks Corner (subassistant commissioner)
  • Mount Pleasant (acting subassistant commissioner)
  • Newberry (agent)
  • Orangeburg (acting subassistant commissioner)
  • Orangeburg (hospital)
  • Rice Hope Plantation
  • Richland district
  • Ridgeville
  • Rockville
  • Spartanburg
  • St Paul's Parish
  • Summerville (hospital)
  • Summerville (subassistant commissioner)
  • Sumpter (acting subassistant commissioner)
  • Union district
  • Unionville (subassistant commissioner)
  • Walhalla
  • Williamsburg
  • York district
 

Step 2 ~ Use the Reel Guide (Descriptive Pamphlet) to Select Records You Wish to View

Once you have identified the Field Offices of interest to your research, you are ready to view the reel guide (descriptive pamphlet) to select the microfilm reels you wish to view.

The reel guide (descriptive pamphlet) for NARA M1910 provides an in-depth look at what each of the 106 microfilms contains.

The descriptive pamphlet is the first microfilm in the collection on FamilySearch. If you would like to keep the descriptive pamphlet open in another window, download it for offline use or search the guide, you can access it in pdf format here in our research library.

Below is an example of a page within the reel guide (please click on the image to view larger). At the top of the page is the information for reels 62 and 63, Berkeley District. The guide describes the contents of each reel and how the records are arranged, then follows detailed information about specific record types.

Reel Guide Screen Shot

The order the records are listed in is the order in which they appear on the microfilm.

Hint: Reading the reel guide thoroughly can enhance your research in a number of ways. The guide presents a detailed history of the operations and organization of the Freedmen's Bureau in various regions of South Carolina. Knowing the history of operations in your research area can help you pinpoint records of interest you might otherwise overlook.

A close reading of the reel guide can also alert you to records you may want to view that may not be apparent from perusing the record titles alone. By reading the reel guide closely, we stumbled upon a treasure - Reel 9 of the collection contains a 90-page ledger of Freedmen and planters who received rations in every sub-district in South Carolina. As the volume is within records titled "Medical Officer," we would not have discovered this volume by perusing record titles.

Step 3 ~ Accessing the Digitized Collection

After you have identified the reels of interest to you, you are ready to access the records and dive into your research! You can access the collection here on FamilySearch (link opens in a new window so you can keep this page open as well).

The collection is not yet indexed, but you can read each reel frame-by-frame anytime, right from home. We hope this quick guide will help you identify records of interest and navigate the new collection! Next, we will look specifically at different record types within this collection, and the information they contain. Happy ancestor hunting from the crew at Lowcountry Africana!

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FamilySearch Digitizes Freedmen's Bureau Records for SC

3 Generations of Doctor Family in Letter to Freedmen's Bureau M1910 Reel 89 Taget 1

FamilySearch this week digitized all 106 rolls of the microfilm series Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910). This new collection of 118,737 images is one of the most significant for tracing formerly enslaved ancestors in South Carolina. The 106 rolls of microfilm span the date range of 1865 to 1872.

Freedmen's Bureau records are an invaluable resource for learning where your ancestors were prior to 1870 and can often provide clues for discovering an ancestor's final slaveholder. Among these records are labor contracts, rations lists, land warrants, military bounty claims, letters received and sent, applications for restoration of property to former slaveholders, transportation requests, hospital records and more.

When used in conjunction with the 1869 South Carolina state census, 1868 voter registrations and 1869 militia enrollments, these records can help you learn a lot about where ancestors were, and what they were doing, prior to 1870.

You can access this free collection here. We will be developing a series of blog posts about this new collection. Topics will include navigating the records, types of records and the information each contains, and how to use these records to corroborate family oral history and break through the 1870 brick wall.

The records are also a valuable source of primary documents for educators to use in the classroom.

We're very excited about this collection being digitized. It is not yet indexed but you can access all 106 rolls of microfilm from home. We look forward to exploring these records with you! If you find a treasure, please share it here in the comments. We would love to hear how your research in these records is going.

You can view the reel guide for this collection here in our research library. The guides provide an in-depth look at what each microfilm contains, to help you select which films you would like to view.

Happy Ancestor Hunting from the Crew at Lowcountry Africana!

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Slave Dwelling Project ~ 150th Battery Wagner Commemoration, Two Nights in Jail

150th Anniversary Commemoration, Assault on Battery Wagner

By Joseph McGill

"Approximately 200,000 African American men served in the Union Army and Navy during the American Civil War. For this particular stay, it was not much of a stretch for the Slave Dwelling Project and my Civil War reenacting to come together."

Joseph McGillFounder, Slave Dwelling Project
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For the followers of the Slave Dwelling Project, you have become accustomed to the blog that I write after every time that I spend the night in a slave dwelling. You may also be aware that I am a Civil War reenactor so making history relevant is what I love. Our reenactment group is Company I, 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment. Historically, the group was the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Approximately 200,000 African American men served in the Union Army and Navy during the American Civil War. For this particular stay, it was not much of a stretch for the Slave Dwelling Project and my Civil War reenacting to come together.

The Assault on Battery Wagner occurred on July, 18, 1863. This was the battle portrayed in the 1989 award winning movie Glory featuring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington. Although other Black regiments preceded and followed the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, because of this movie, this group is best known. For the past 10 years, Company I has been going to Morris Island, SC, the site of that battle to commemorate the men who fought, died and were captured there. This year would be different. Since this was the sesquicentennial or the 150th anniversary of that battle, we had to do more and do more we did.

On Sunday, July14 members of the local Civil War reenactment group worshipped at Mt. Zion AME Church in Charleston, SC. It is documented that historically, men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry worshipped at this church. After the service, the members proceeded to the Friendly Society Cemetery to place a wreath on the grave of Lt. Steven Swails who was one of only three Black officers commissioned in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. This is important because at the onset of the war one could count the number of Black officers in the Union army and navy on one hand. After the Civil War, Lt Swails who was originally from Cooperstown, NY, stayed in South Carolina and became a State Senator, lawyer and the Mayor of my hometown of Kingstree, SC.

Fort Moultrie 1

On Monday night a small contingency of the local Civil War reenactment group gathered at the Seashore Farmers Lodge to view the movie Glory. The lodge was built about 1915 by local black farmers. Their organization provided insurance, advice, and burial assistance to members. The newly restored building fell into disrepair and was almost lost to demolition by neglect before concerned community organizers stepped in and saved it. Unfortunately, technical difficulties would not allow us to show the movie on a large screen. Fate would have it that only about five people showed up so we wound up showing the film on a computer screen which worked out just fine.

The next day we would find ourselves back at the Seashore Farmers Lodge for a day of living history. It was on this day, July 16, 1863 that that the 54th Massachusetts got its baptism of fire. The historical marker at the lodge states “During the Civil War (1861-1865) Sol Legare Island was the site of several camps, artillery positions and battles. On this date, one of America's first African American Army Regiments, organized in the North and led by Union General Alfred Terry; bravely gave their lives to win the freedom of enslaved Africans who were held in bondage here and on plantations throughout the south. 5,200 Federal Troops occupied this Island. The 54th waged a gallant battle but lost 14 men, 17 were wounded and 12 missing. It is with great pride and humble gratitude that we honor their unwavering courage and sacrifice for a moral cause. The lodge is located on the grounds of where Union forces camped before they engaged in the Battle of Sol Legare Island.” The day was filled with living history demonstrations and storytelling with a good mixture of community, state and national visitors.

Wednesday, July 17th would find us at Trident Technical College. By then, the Civil War reenactors from out of town began to show up. The guys from Company A in Boston were there. These were the guys who allowed me to fall in with them at the last two inaugural parades of President Barack Obama. The guys from Company B out of Washington, DC were there. Company K out of Atlanta showed up. Others representing Civil War United States Colored Troops (USCT) showed up from New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina. The evening event had a sparse turnout and we got all of the activities in before the rain started. We then went to the world renown Gullah Cuisine Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant where the famous chef Charlotte Jenkins did not disappoint with a spread of baked chicken, collard greens, okra stew, rice, yams, bread pudding and a side salad. A formal introduction was given to the group by me with a question and answer period that followed. Bringing all of these groups together was a little contentious but nothing that could not be easily overcome. It was revealed that in the room we had a descendant of one of the drummers of the 54th, a descendant of William Carney the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from the 54th, and several men who acted in the movie Glory.

54th Mass Company I Fort Moultrie

Thursday, July 18th found us at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, SC. The history of the fort spans the Revolutionary through World War II. It was from this fort on the night of December 26, 1860, under the cover of darkness, Major Robert Anderson would spike the guns and proceed to Fort Sumter. He would hold his position at Fort Sumter until after a 34 hour battle which started on April 12, 1861. As typical with the National Park Service, the rules were strict but we gave the public a great show that included lectures, storytelling and musket firing demonstrations. Putting all the guys in one formation was not as problematic as I anticipated. We even had a contingency of Confederates who participated in the Fort Moultrie event.

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Above: 150th Commemoration, Photos by Herb Frazier

At 2:30 pm we began to board the boats that would take us over to Morris Island. The transport to the island was completed without a hitch although I was receiving calls for a seat on the boats up until the time we left the dock. The event on the island was carried out flawlessly. My only regrets were that high tide did not allow much beach to conduct the activities and we did not have enough time at the end of the program for people to reflect. We proceeded back to Fort Moultrie where we were fed and the activities continued. The evening culminated with a presentation by Lt. Governor Glen McConnell who is himself a Civil War reenactor. We ended the event by lighting luminaries that represented each man killed during the Assault on Battery Wagner.

Casualty List of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment from the Assault on Fort WagnercroppedAbove: List of USCT Soldiers Missing After the Assault on Battery Wagner. With Kind Permission of Fold3.

My Trip to South Carolina

By Kharson McKay, Age 11, Descendant of David Miles Moore, 54th Mass. USCT

"Everyone slid out of the boat and we stepped out onto the sand. It took my breath away. This was the Island where my ancestor David Miles Moore stepped into history!"

Kharson McKay, Age 11Descendant of David Miles Moore, 54th Mass. USCT
photo

Above: Kharson McKay (Left). Photo by Herb Frazier

My name is Kharson McKay. I am 11 years old from Austin, TX. I love the Civil War. When my dad Bob McKay told me I had been invited to participate in a civil war re-­‐ enactment, I was so excited to do it. My mom made me a costume (that apparently wasn’t very authentic) but it was still a great costume and I love it. Here’s the story of my trip to South Carolina. On Sunday, July 14 my dad and I drove 9 hours to my Sister’s house in New Orleans to pick up my 9 year old Nephew, Quinn McKay. We stayed for a while but we had to get back on the road. From there we drove to Olustee, FL to see the battlefield where my ancestor David Miles Moore, The drummer boy for the 54th Mass Company H. fought his final battle before he mustered out of the civil war in 1865.

It had closed just a minute before we got there at 5:01 so we went over the gate and took a couple of photos and videos and got out quick. After that we drove to Jacksonville, checked into a hotel right by the beach and swam in the ocean for a while. We tried swimming against the waves, but every time the tide came in it threw us back to the shore! Soon it got dark and we had to go back to the hotel. The next day we stayed for a while longer at the beach then had to get back on the road. We finally got to South Carolina and checked into our hotel. We heard there was a meeting at a university, and that got switched around but we finally got to the park where we saw everyone in uniform talking to each other and shaking hands. A few of the other re-­‐enactors greeted us and we met a lot of the local people. A couple of the men and women spoke about where they were from and how they got here, then they did an amazing living history skit.

Soon it started to rain and we all went to dinner at a restaurant with a great Gullah/Geechee buffet. Sitting down with our food we talked about the reenactment and information about what was going to happen the next day at Fort Moultrie. After 2 hours of eating and talking we all went home to get some rest for the big day. That day, Thursday, July 18th I took a shower, put on my uniform and walked out of the hotel to reenact one of the most important battles in the history of The Civil War. When we got to Fort Moultrie I was amazed by the Fort and the different costumes and gear people had! I wasn’t quite prepared, but the park visitors center let me borrow a drum and a couple of the men there helped me look more authentic.

After a few hours of gun checking, firing demonstrations, eating, and history talks, we all got on the boat to Morris Island. There, everyone slid out of the boat and we stepped out onto the sand. It took my breath away. This was the Island where my ancestor David Miles Moore stepped into history! We knelt down into the sand and a lot of blinding pictures were taken of us. We got up again, played a marching cadence, and marched to a spot on the island were we all got into ranks and fired the guns. The drummer boys played Battle Hymn of The Republic. I couldn’t play the drums at all so I just played the bass part of it. The men fired their guns into the air and we all got back onto the boat. I will never forget that moment when I first felt the sand. Thank you Mr. McGill for inviting me on this wonderful trip. I had a lot of fun and I am thinking about doing this again. Thank you.

Fort Moultrie 8 Fort Moultrie Group Photo

Stay at Old Charleston Jail

By Joseph McGill
Encampment Old Jail 11

The Old Charleston Jail was built in 1802 using bricks that were made by enslaved people along with their carpentry and masonry skills. My desire to extend the Slave Dwelling Project to the Old Charleston Jail was based on the fact that after the battle that was portrayed in the movie Glory, some of the Black soldiers who were taken as prisoners were held there. The American College of the Building Arts now holds classes in the jail and allotted me 15 slots for people desiring to share the experience with me. When I revealed to the public that I was going to spend two nights in the Old Charleston Jail, I immediately started to get responses about ghosts. While I don’t believe in ghosts, I do all within my powers to respect those that do.

I got to the jail at the appointed time of 6:00 pm to meet the tour guides who would be giving ghost tours in the jail. A prior meeting determined that we would interact only minimally with the tour groups. Nearly half of the people who signed up for the first night stay were no shows which at this point in the project did not surprise me but it turned out that nine Civil War reenactors, all males, would sleep in the jail that night. To my surprise, all of the reenactors were very anxious to interact with the tour groups. The tours started at our Civil War encampment where the visitors were presented with some story telling about how former slaves became Union soldiers. They then proceeded inside for their tour through the jail.

I tagged along on one of the ghost tours and enjoyed what I witnessed. Our drummer and youngest member of the Civil War reenactment group who was also scheduled to stay in the jail, went on one of the tours, as a result, we spent a great part of the night convincing him that everything would be fine inside the jail. 11:45 pm and the tours were over but for most of us who were to sleep in the jail, that time would have to come later. Some of the out of town reenactors wanted to hit some of the bars in town, while the rest of us just hung around outside engaging in conversation and enjoying adult beverages. Around 2:00 am we all found ourselves inside the jail to claim the spots where we would sleep. Despite all of the talk about ghosts, I found the night uneventful.

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We would find ourselves back at the jail on Saturday, at 3:00 pm for a period of living history for the general public. I had anticipated a respectable contingency of Confederate reenactors so that we could give the visiting public a feel for how both sides operated during the Civil War, but only three Confederates showed and that number included one lady. That turned out to be a good thing because the crowd was very sparse but they were treated to interpretation and storytelling. At 7:00 pm we had to once again switch into a mode for receiving ghost tour groups. The routine was the same as the previous night. Eight people would stay in the jail that night, five men and three women. The crowds for the tours were just as robust as the previous night which was an indication to me that this is a lucrative industry. After the ghost tours were completed, we again found ourselves chatting outside and drinking a few adult beverages. On this night we did not occupy the building until 3:00 am. To my surprise when I woke up the next morning, two of the young ladies who spent the night had already left. I am still adamant about not believing in ghosts, the fact that my van would not start that morning because of a dead battery and the fact that the battery in my watch died when I was in the jail was pure coincidence.

In March of this year, I attended a panel discussion at a conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on ghost tours. It was concluded that one can obtain more African American history on a ghost tour than on a regular history tour. Personally, I have a problem with that. Participating in the event at the jail is bringing me around to seeing things differently. When we interacted with the tour groups, through our interpretation and storytelling they learned how men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry became prisoners at that jail, in other words, we hit them with some real history. To that end, I am willing to work with the American College of the Building Arts and the ghost tour company to address their groups in the same capacity in the future. There are times when you have to get in where you fit in. As for ghosts, I will spend several more nights in that jail if the opportunity presents itself in the future.

Related Reading

"My First Night In Jail," Part I, from the blog South Carolina Traveler
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Index of USCT Bounties Paid, South Carolina, 1866-1868

 

Source: Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910), Reel 23
 
Sample Page, Index of USCT Bounties Paid 1866-1868

Sample Page, Index of USCT Bounties Paid 1866-1868

Names of 166 USCT veterans who were paid bounties from 1866-1868 ~ Please click on link below to view document images:

 
Index of USCT Bounties Paid, SC 1866-1868 (pdf)
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Honoring William Parsons, First USCT Soldier to Fall in Battle in SC

Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 11

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Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 13, Detail

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Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 13

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Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 2

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Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 3

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Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 5

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Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 7

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Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 9

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The first military action of the United States Colored Troops in South Carolina was an expedition organized by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, commander of the 1st SC Infantry (later redesignated 33rd USCT). From January 23 to February 1, 1863, the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was on expedition from Beaufort up the St. Mary's River, which forms the boundary between Georgia and Florida.

The goal of the expedition was to surprise a Confederate encampment and capture much-needed lumber stores. Acting as guide on this expedition was Corporal Robert Sutton, who had made his escape to Union lines down that very river.

A skirmish developed as the 1st South Carolina was intercepted by a Confederate patrol from Captain Clark's cavalry before reaching the encampment. Private William Parsons of Company G, standing near Higginson, was killed instantly in the opening volley.

In his diary, Colonel Higginson recalls the expedition thus:

It was after midnight when we set off upon our excursion. I had about a hundred men, marching by the flank, with a small advanced guard, and also a few flankers, where the ground permitted. I put my Florida company at the head of the column and had by my side Captain Metcalf, an excellent officer, and Sergeant McIntyre, his first sergeant ... We plunged presently into the pine woods, whose resinous smell I can still remember.

All had gone smoothly as the troops made their way to the camp of the opposing troops; so smoothly, in fact, that Higginson was already imagining the troops springing from the woods, surprising the Confederate camp and forcing a surrender. Then suddenly:

There was a trampling of the feet of the advanced guard as they came confusedly to a halt, and almost at the same instant a more ominous sound, as of galloping horses in the path before us. The moonlight outside of the woods gave that dimness of atmosphere which is more bewildering than darkness, because the eyes cannot adapt themselves to it so well. Yet I fancied, and others aver, that they saw the leader of an approaching party mounted on a white horse and reigning up in the pathway; others, again, declare that he drew a pistol from the holster and took aim; others heard the words, "Charge in upon them! Surround them..." Perhaps at the first shot a man fell at my elbow [1].

The man who fell at Colonel Higginson's side was private William Parsons of Company G. Just 26 years old at the time of his death in battle, Parsons had enlisted at Port Royal, SC in January of 1863.

Born in Lowndes County, AL, Parsons listed his occupation as farmer at the time of his enlistment.

The 1st SC USCT were newly-formed when they made their first excursion up the St. Mary's, during which William Parsons was killed. The unit had received their charter and regimental colors just 24 days before.

So new was the regiment that at the time of his death in battle, William Parsons had not yet received his first pay [2].

Above: Detail from the Service Record of William Parsons, 33rd USCT. You may view the entire document on Fold3.

On this Memorial Day, we remember William Parsons of the 1st SC Infantry (later 33rd USCT), and honor the sacrifice he made in service to our country.

References Cited

[1] Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. 1962 Army Life in a Black Regiment. Reprint: Dungan Books. Digitized by Google Books, accessed 28 May 2012.

[2] "Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: Infantry Organizations, 31st through 35th," database online, Fold3 (www.fold3.com), accessed 28 May 2012, entry for William Parsons, 33rd USCT.

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Letter Written by Freedman James Perkins, Jacksonboro, SC, 1870

This letter was written by James Perkins of Jacksonboro, Colleton County, SC.

Perkins, a veteran who served in Company K, 35th United States Colored Troops, was inquiring about bounty pay due him for his service from 1863 to 1866.

Perkins asks that correspondence to him be directed to Mr. W.H. Whilden.

He states that his commanding officer in Company K, 35th USCT was Captain James Armstrong.

Please click on image to view larger.

Source Citation

Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910), Reel 22, Frame 75.
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Joseph McGill and Company A, 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment March in Inaugural Parade

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Inaugural Parade

Immersing myself in matters of history is second nature. More specifically, matters of African American history are on my short list of things I enjoy engaging in the most. To that end, I often have to be reminded that some of those matters of history of which I indulge are much bigger than me therefore they should be shared with an audience that wishes to know more about African American history. Through this blog you have been reading about The Slave Dwelling Project one of my deep indulgence into the extant places where enslaved African American lived, so deep that I have spent a night in thirty eight of these dwellings in twelve states since 2010. My publisher alerted me that I was about to engage in something rare that current and future followers of the blog might also be interested.

My other delve into African American history is that for over 20 years, I have been a Civil War reenactor. My Civil War reenacting group is Company I, 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was one of the first African American Civil War units raised in the north and was portrayed in the academy award winning movie Glory in 1989. Being one of few African American Civil War reenactors in the United States, we represent approximately 200,000 African Americans that served the Union Army and Navy during the American Civil War. It was this affiliation that got me an invitation to march in the presidential inaugural parade that occurred on the Martin Luther King holiday on January 21, 2013. I would march with Company A, my fellow Civil War reenactors from Boston, Massachusetts.

The opportunity to march in the parade was not unique for I had done the very same thing four years prior with the same group. That experience taught me to prepare better for the occasion. My new brogans that I ordered for the occasion had gotten within a few miles from my home before UPS shipped them back to the sender because they could not figure out my address. The time that I received them only gave me a week to start the breaking in process which required me to wear them to work at Magnolia Plantation one day. I shined my brass and had the buttons sewn on my Civil War uniform and the pants hemmed accordingly. From the sporting goods store, I purchased hand and toe warmers. While packing for the trip, I discovered that my thermal underwear was insufficient for what I was about to experience therefore I had to purchase more. I recalled in 2009 standing in the below freezing cold for two hours waiting for the parade to begin so this time I would arm myself with snacks aplenty.

When I arrived in Washington, DC at the designated place to stay late in the evening of Saturday, January 19, the gentlemen from Boston were already there. Our host, Frank Smith, President of the African American Civil War Museum found a row house in a nice neighborhood that we could rent for the occasion. To my surprise, it would not be necessary for me to spread my sleeping bag on the floor because an army unit provided cots for all the men and women staying in the house. The only challenge would be everyone sharing the one rest room that was in the house. To that end, ten minute time limits had to be established and I chose the first slot at 4:00 am. Upon seeing Company A, we picked up where we left off because more than half of the guys participated in the inaugural parade four years earlier. That night some of us attempted to go to the world famous Ben’s Chili Bowl but were in for a rude awakening when we saw the line of people who got there before us.

Sunday, January 20 was packed with activities. An early morning muster gave us an indication of how we would function as a group. Our formation brought from the neighborhood various onlookers, picture takers and inquirers. Breakfast was prepared by an Elk’s lodge located two doors from the house where we stayed. We then proceeded in a loose formation to the African American Civil War Monument, 1925 Vermont Avenue NW, where we drilled and interacted with spectators.

The entrance to the African American Civil War Museum, 1925 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

After the drill session, we went across the street to the Civil War Museum where we listened to a rousing and informative lecture about African Americans in the Civil War given by the museum curator Hari Jones. We were then shuttled over to 18th Street and Columbia Road to participate in the Slavery to Freedom in Adams Morgan Walking Tour. One stop on the tour was the site of John Little Manor House. Mr. Little was a cattle farmer who owned slaves. The tour concluded at the African American and Quaker cemeteries at Walker Pierce Park. Several African American Civil War soldiers and sailors are buried there.

Enjoying chicken wings and french fries at the Elks lodge while watching the New England Patriots versus Baltimore Ravens football game

That night we all gathered at the Elk’s Lodge to watch the New England Patriots versus the Baltimore Ravens. It was a precarious situation for me because being so close to Baltimore, Maryland, I was hanging with guys from Boston so I governed my actions accordingly. French fries, chicken wings and beer made the gathering more memorable. Needless to say, the result of the game was not favorable for my colleagues from Boston.

Monday, January 21, Dr. Martin Luther King’s holiday, the day of the inauguration, we all mustered outside at 5:00 am for inspection. While outside we discovered that a special guest would join us. Accompanying Company A in the parade would be the honorable Michael Crutcher who would portray Frederick Douglass. Douglass, who was instrumental in convincing Abraham Lincoln to recruit Black soldiers for the Union cause, had two sons , Charles and Lewis, who were members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The bus that would take us to the Pentagon for processing would not arrive for another hour or so which gave us some time to relax. On the bus ride that seemed to have taken almost an hour, we finally arrived at the Pentagon where again we had to wait. Having been preprocessed by providing our social security numbers and a photograph at least two weeks prior, the physical processing went a lot more smoothly than 4 years prior.

Muster outside of the row house on the morning of the inaugural parade

Knowing that our functional Civil War muskets had to be disabled, most of the men had already done this by removing the nipple from their weapon. For those whose nipple could not be removed, a tooth pick was inserted into it and broken off. The rest of the process mirrored that of what one would encounter at an airport before boarding a plane. After processing and before we got back on the bus, I along with a member of Company A was chosen to do live interviews for ABC News and NPR. Unfortunately, when we finally got to the interview area, other parade participants were being interviewed and were not finished before we were ordered to be escorted back to our group to board our bus that would take us to the staging area.

Up Pennsylvania Avenue

I recalled that four years prior that bus ride gave us a great view of the magnitude of the crowd that was in Washington, DC for the inauguration. That was not the case this year but we did go past the new Martin Luther King Monument which gave everyone on the bus an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the day. At the staging area, one Civil War reenactor from Philadelphia who did not get processed at the Pentagon tried to join the ranks. He was not with us one minute before security pounced and removed him from our ranks so he could not join us in the staging area tent. Activities inside the tent were more organized than four years prior, there was a big TV screen that allowed everyone to see the inauguration process. We were seated next to Company B, other African American Civil War reenactors from Washington, DC. It became obvious to many of us in the ranks that we all should be marching together but we were not the decision makers. There were groups galore inside the tent but we were advised to stay together and not roam alone.

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54th Mass Company A Marches in Inaugural Parade. Photos Courtesy of Bernice Bennett

After what seemed like hours, we finally went outside to take our position for the parade. Interestingly, the gentleman who could not join us in the tent found his way back to our ranks and was placed right beside me which made me a little nervous. When the procession began to move, I was impressed because four years prior it took hours before we moved. And then we stopped, the memory of standing for hours in the cold four years earlier came rushing back. After a series of starts and stops, we began to move along at a constant pace. The spectators along the parade route were much more abundant than four years prior. Every one hundred yards or so, an announcer would make known to the crowd what unit was approaching. About half way into the parade, the older gentlemen in the group began to waiver. The series of command for repositioning our weapons were getting pointless as every position became painful.

And there it was, the presidential reviewing stand. Being on the extreme left of the formation, the side closest to the president, I was forewarned that when the command eyes left was given I had to continue to look forward to maintain the decorum of the formation. Knowing this I had to get a good look at the Commander in Chief as we approached and before the command was given. As we passed the presidential enclosure, everyone in the formation, despite their age and physical condition seemed to disregard the pain that they were enduring. Once the formation passed the presidential enclosure, it was apparent that we all lost our swagger and stamina but there were still people along the route and we had to perform accordingly for an additional two hundred yards or so.

Finally, we got to the busses where we could break the formation. After receiving the order to proceed in a loose formation to the bus, our headcount revealed that two members did not make it to the end. Provisions for such an occurrence had already been made and the two men had been transported to the bus and were there before the rest of us got there. Later that night, I would decline the opportunity to hang out with some of the younger guys as they would again attempt to go to Ben’s Chili Bowl. I stayed in the house with the older group and we all ordered a pizza. When the younger group returned, they let me know that this time they were successful in getting into Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Tuesday, January 22, the day after the march, I awoke and checked the weather and discovered it was 20 degrees and only going to reach 23 degrees that day. I gave thanks that the inaugural parade occurred the day before when it was 25 degrees warmer. I was also thankful that I was going to put 516 miles of south between me and Washington, DC while the guys from Company A were going in the opposite direction into colder weather. Before I left, I had to again thank Company A for letting me join them for the second inaugural parade for first African American president of the United States. I vowed to them that I will prepare a place for them in Charleston, SC when they come during the week of July, 14 – 21, 2013 to participate in the 150th Anniversary of the Assault on Batter Wagner, the battle that was depicted in the movie Glory.

The institution of slavery suppressed our ancestors by denying them the opportunity to be educated. Any evidence of the enslaved being educated could meet with harsh punishment. One cumulative result is that African Americans have been playing catch up in recording our own history. To that end, a lot of African American history that should have been recorded has gone to the grave with some of our ancestors. I hereby thank my blog publisher for reminding me that I do have an audience and that some of the things that I do that I take for granted are worthy of being shared with that audience.

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Joseph McGill and Company A, 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment March in Inaugural Parade

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Inaugural Parade

Immersing myself in matters of history is second nature. More specifically, matters of African American history are on my short list of things I enjoy engaging in the most. To that end, I often have to be reminded that some of those matters of history of which I indulge are much bigger than me therefore they should be shared with an audience that wishes to know more about African American history. Through this blog you have been reading about The Slave Dwelling Project one of my deep indulgence into the extant places where enslaved African American lived, so deep that I have spent a night in thirty eight of these dwellings in twelve states since 2010. My publisher alerted me that I was about to engage in something rare that current and future followers of the blog might also be interested.

My other delve into African American history is that for over 20 years, I have been a Civil War reenactor. My Civil War reenacting group is Company I, 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was one of the first African American Civil War units raised in the north and was portrayed in the academy award winning movie Glory in 1989. Being one of few African American Civil War reenactors in the United States, we represent approximately 200,000 African Americans that served the Union Army and Navy during the American Civil War. It was this affiliation that got me an invitation to march in the presidential inaugural parade that occurred on the Martin Luther King holiday on January 21, 2013. I would march with Company A, my fellow Civil War reenactors from Boston, Massachusetts.

The opportunity to march in the parade was not unique for I had done the very same thing four years prior with the same group. That experience taught me to prepare better for the occasion. My new brogans that I ordered for the occasion had gotten within a few miles from my home before UPS shipped them back to the sender because they could not figure out my address. The time that I received them only gave me a week to start the breaking in process which required me to wear them to work at Magnolia Plantation one day. I shined my brass and had the buttons sewn on my Civil War uniform and the pants hemmed accordingly. From the sporting goods store, I purchased hand and toe warmers. While packing for the trip, I discovered that my thermal underwear was insufficient for what I was about to experience therefore I had to purchase more. I recalled in 2009 standing in the below freezing cold for two hours waiting for the parade to begin so this time I would arm myself with snacks aplenty.

When I arrived in Washington, DC at the designated place to stay late in the evening of Saturday, January 19, the gentlemen from Boston were already there. Our host, Frank Smith, President of the African American Civil War Museum found a row house in a nice neighborhood that we could rent for the occasion. To my surprise, it would not be necessary for me to spread my sleeping bag on the floor because an army unit provided cots for all the men and women staying in the house. The only challenge would be everyone sharing the one rest room that was in the house. To that end, ten minute time limits had to be established and I chose the first slot at 4:00 am. Upon seeing Company A, we picked up where we left off because more than half of the guys participated in the inaugural parade four years earlier. That night some of us attempted to go to the world famous Ben’s Chili Bowl but were in for a rude awakening when we saw the line of people who got there before us.

Sunday, January 20 was packed with activities. An early morning muster gave us an indication of how we would function as a group. Our formation brought from the neighborhood various onlookers, picture takers and inquirers. Breakfast was prepared by an Elk’s lodge located two doors from the house where we stayed. We then proceeded in a loose formation to the African American Civil War Monument, 1925 Vermont Avenue NW, where we drilled and interacted with spectators.

The entrance to the African American Civil War Museum, 1925 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

After the drill session, we went across the street to the Civil War Museum where we listened to a rousing and informative lecture about African Americans in the Civil War given by the museum curator Hari Jones. We were then shuttled over to 18th Street and Columbia Road to participate in the Slavery to Freedom in Adams Morgan Walking Tour. One stop on the tour was the site of John Little Manor House. Mr. Little was a cattle farmer who owned slaves. The tour concluded at the African American and Quaker cemeteries at Walker Pierce Park. Several African American Civil War soldiers and sailors are buried there.

Enjoying chicken wings and french fries at the Elks lodge while watching the New England Patriots versus Baltimore Ravens football game

That night we all gathered at the Elk’s Lodge to watch the New England Patriots versus the Baltimore Ravens. It was a precarious situation for me because being so close to Baltimore, Maryland, I was hanging with guys from Boston so I governed my actions accordingly. French fries, chicken wings and beer made the gathering more memorable. Needless to say, the result of the game was not favorable for my colleagues from Boston.

Monday, January 21, Dr. Martin Luther King’s holiday, the day of the inauguration, we all mustered outside at 5:00 am for inspection. The bus that would take us to the Pentagon for processing would not arrive for another hour or so which gave us some time to relax. On the bus ride that seemed to have taken almost an hour, we finally arrived at the Pentagon where again we had to wait. Having been preprocessed by providing our social security numbers and a photograph at least two weeks prior, the physical processing went a lot more smoothly than 4 years prior.

Muster outside of the row house on the morning of the inaugural parade

Knowing that our functional Civil War muskets had to be disabled, most of the men had already done this by removing the nipple from their weapon. For those whose nipple could not be removed, a tooth pick was inserted into it and broken off. The rest of the process mirrored that of what one would encounter at an airport before boarding a plane. After processing and before we got back on the bus, I along with a member of Company A was chosen to do live interviews for ABC News and NPR. Unfortunately, when we finally got to the interview area, other parade participants were being interviewed and were not finished before we were ordered to be escorted back to our group to board our bus that would take us to the staging area.

Up Pennsylvania Avenue

I recalled that four years prior that bus ride gave us a great view of the magnitude of the crowd that was in Washington, DC for the inauguration. That was not the case this year but we did go past the new Martin Luther King Monument which gave everyone on the bus an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the day. At the staging area, one Civil War reenactor from Philadelphia who did not get processed at the Pentagon tried to join the ranks. He was not with us one minute before security pounced and removed him from our ranks so he could not join us in the staging area tent. Activities inside the tent were more organized than four years prior, there was a big TV screen that allowed everyone to see the inauguration process. We were seated next to Company B, other African American Civil War reenactors from Washington, DC. It became obvious to many of us in the ranks that we all should be marching together but we were not the decision makers. There were groups galore inside the tent but we were advised to stay together and not roam alone.

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54th Mass Company A Marches in Inaugural Parade. Photos Courtesy of Bernice Bennett

After what seemed like hours, we finally went outside to take our position for the parade. Interestingly, the gentleman who could not join us in the tent found his way back to our ranks and was placed right beside me which made me a little nervous. When the procession began to move, I was impressed because four years prior it took hours before we moved. And then we stopped, the memory of standing for hours in the cold four years earlier came rushing back. After a series of starts and stops, we began to move along at a constant pace. The spectators along the parade route were much more abundant than four years prior. Every one hundred yards or so, an announcer would make known to the crowd what unit was approaching. About half way into the parade, the older gentlemen in the group began to waiver. The series of command for repositioning our weapons were getting pointless as every position became painful.

And there it was, the presidential reviewing stand. Being on the extreme left of the formation, the side closest to the president, I was forewarned that when the command eyes left was given I had to continue to look forward to maintain the decorum of the formation. Knowing this I had to get a good look at the Commander in Chief as we approached and before the command was given. As we passed the presidential enclosure, everyone in the formation, despite their age and physical condition seemed to disregard the pain that they were enduring. Once the formation passed the presidential enclosure, it was apparent that we all lost our swagger and stamina but there were still people along the route and we had to perform accordingly for an additional two hundred yards or so.

Finally, we got to the busses where we could break the formation. After receiving the order to proceed in a loose formation to the bus, our headcount revealed that two members did not make it to the end. Provisions for such an occurrence had already been made and the two men had been transported to the bus and were there before the rest of us got there. Later that night, I would decline the opportunity to hang out with some of the younger guys as they would again attempt to go to Ben’s Chili Bowl. I stayed in the house with the older group and we all ordered a pizza. When the younger group returned, they let me know that this time they were successful in getting into Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Tuesday, January 22, the day after the march, I awoke and checked the weather and discovered it was 20 degrees and only going to reach 23 degrees that day. I gave thanks that the inaugural parade occurred the day before when it was 25 degrees warmer. I was also thankful that I was going to put 516 miles of south between me and Washington, DC while the guys from Company A were going in the opposite direction into colder weather. Before I left, I had to again thank Company A for letting me join them for the second inaugural parade for first African American president of the United States. I vowed to them that I will prepare a place for them in Charleston, SC when they come during the week of July, 14 – 21, 2013 to participate in the 150th Anniversary of the Assault on Batter Wagner, the battle that was depicted in the movie Glory.

The institution of slavery suppressed our ancestors by denying them the opportunity to be educated. Any evidence of the enslaved being educated could meet with harsh punishment. One cumulative result is that African Americans have been playing catch up in recording our own history. To that end, a lot of African American history that should have been recorded has gone to the grave with some of our ancestors. I hereby thank my blog publisher for reminding me that I do have an audience and that some of the things that I do that I take for granted are worthy of being shared with that audience.

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