Kelly D. Mezurek

The Anglo-African, August 6, 1864 DEATH OF A BRAVE COLORED SOLDIER. MR. JOHN GRIMAGE, of Allegheny City, Pa., sends us the following letter, which was sent by Capt. Shedon, of the 6th Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, to Mrs. Joanna Taylor, of said city, describing the circumstances under which her son was killed in an action near Petersburg: SPRING HILL, Va., June 19, 1864.      MRS. JOANNA TAYLOR – My Dear Madam: Day before yesterday, Gen. Gilmore made a reconnaissance towards Petersburg, with a force of which our regiment was…

Soon after private Benjamin Vann of the 24th USCI enlisted in Allegheny City in February 1864, the provost marshal of Harrisburg detailed the private to serve as a cook. Vann first worked at Pennsylvania's Twenty-third Congressional District headquarters, then at Camp Reynolds near Pittsburgh. Almost eleven months later, Vann joined his regiment at Camp William Penn as a member of Company B. At some point that summer, he discovered that the time he labored before January 5, 1865, had not been counted towards his three-year military enlistment period. In early…

From Joseph T. Wilson's The Black Phalanx: African American Soldiers in the War of Independence, the War of 1812 & The Civil War The Lorain County News, Oberlin, Ohio July 19, 1865 Letter from Capt. O.S.B. WallPORT ROYAL, S.C.,June 24th, 1865. EDITOR OF THE NEWS, OBERLIN, O.: I have thought for some time that it might not be amiss to drop you a line, with reference to myself since I arrived in this department, and to say something of other matters that may be of interest to a few of…

Over Memorial Day weekend I will be speaking in Lawrence County, Ohio, about the 27th USCI in Ohio. The General William H. Lytle Camp #10 Department of Ohio Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is holding a ceremony to recognize the installation of new government headstones at the W.D. Kelly cemetery in Ironton. The two soldiers, John Evans and Jefferson Finley, served in the 27th USCI, and some of their descendants will be in attendance. Here is a list of Black men who lived in Lawrence County before,…

Headquarters 27th Regt. U.S.C.T.Camp Near Raleigh, N.C., April 26, 1865 Mr. Editor: On the 20th of this month I, together with some of our boys, went on a foraging expedition. We had travelled some twenty miles when we came within two hundred yards of the main line of works of the rebel Gen. Johnston. We immediately came to a halt and lay down, and soon after spied three rebel officers coming out on the road towards us. We then made our way into a swamp not far off. They proved…

In July 2019 after a week researching USCT pensions at the National Archives, I spent a Saturday morning at the Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia. The heat was unbearable even at 7:30 a.m., and the sunscreen in my eyes had me frustrated. But I reminded myself to remember where I was and just how much the men there had suffered and sacrificed for our nation.                                           Photograph by author Men like Lewis Powell, buried in Hampton Section E. In the spring of 1864, the 30-year-old laborer enrolled in Frederick, Maryland,…

On December 7, 1864, Alcia Bass wrote to Abraham Lincoln. The distraught mother was concerned about her son, Armor, who served in the 27th USCT. She wrote to the president that her son “was underage and ran away from me,” and that she “would give him up freely” but he was also ill with consumption. Furthermore, he was “sunstruck on the 30th of July at the Battle of Petersburg.” Alcia Bass wanted Lincoln to help her son obtain a discharge. She concluded, “please answer this as soon as you rec’…

Over 300 of the men who served in the 27th USCI listed Virginia as the state of their birth. On the blog, Southern Unionists Chronicles,  a reader requested information about one of the soldiers in the USCT included on the site's list of men born in Rockbridge County.  This led me to compare that list with my files. I have so far found at least nine soldiers who served in the 27th USCI who reported Rockbridge County, Virginia, as their place of birth. Here are their stories: Robert Henry Allen…