Monday, April 11, 2011
Tennessee Black Soldiers Honored at National Cemetery
As one who has six ancestors from Giles County Tennessee who served with the 111th US Colored Infantry, I was delighted to see this wonderful video about a monument dedicated to the honor of the US Colored Troops at the National Cemetery in Nashville! My ancestors were from Giles County Tennessee, served with the 111th US Colored Infantry and were captured at Sulphur Branch Trestle in September 1864.
Sephus Bass, his brother Braxton Bass and his own two sons Henry Bass and Emmanuel Bass, all joined together. Another close relative Thomas Bass also served in the same unit, In addition to that, there were two who had married sisters of my Uncle Sephus--James and William Oddaway who were also in the 111th. So that is seven all from Giles County who joined the Union Army.
I was pleased two years ago when researching for a man who happened to be the mayor of one of the cities in Arkansas, and to discover that his family roots are tied to North Alabama. I became interested in his history and I was most surprised to see that his own family had served in the Union Army with mine. In fact he had 17 ancestors that had joined the 110th US Colored Infantry and 2 who had joined the 111th US Colored Infantry. What a legacy! Of the 17 men connected to him, 7 of them were either corporals or sergeants.
Both regiments fought in the same area, both were captured at Sulphur Trestle, Alabama, and his direct ancestors were living in Giles County immediately after the war. They more than likely knew my own ancestors!
I have learned how so many men joined in groups when so many were seizing their own freedom after the Bureau of US Colored Troops were established.
As much as I research USCTs I have seen so few monuments devoted to these men. I am so happy to see Tennessee honor these men at the National Cemetery. My goal is to visit that cemetery, to see the monument, and to see the grave sites of the men who served with my ancestors all brave men, who fought for freedom.