Free Persons of Color

Freedom’s Price, USCT Death During The Civil War

Image of Broadside USCT Recruitment Poster
Broadside USCT Recruitment Poster.Verbiage attributed to Frederick Douglas.

 The fact that many  formerly enslaved United States Colored Troops(USCT) died while serving and fighting in the Civil War is something that has weighed heavily upon my heart for quite sometime.  Sometimes referred to as contraband, many did not survive to experience the freedom that they were fighting for. Consider also the USCT who may have been free prior to the war,  who fought and made the ultimate sacrifice so that others might be free. Several weeks ago while conducting research, I encountered  this database on Ancestry.com. U.S., Register of Colored Troop Deaths During the Civil War, 1861-1865   Those Who Served and Fought “By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war—30,000 of infection or disease. Black soldiers served…

Free Persons of Color

To Be Free, Discovering FPOC in My Family Tree

Image of Vintage American Flag

  I never considered that there might be free persons of color (FPOC) in my family’s history. I assumed that they were all  enslaved. After all, my family is African American, from the deep south, Louisiana, and there was no oral or written history to make me believe otherwise. My father’s people were able to tell me some things about my paternal line – that  Isadore McKee was my grandfather and that Charley McKee my great grandfather. But no one could tell me who Charley’s father was! It seemed as though any recollection of him, his generation, and preceding generations had already been lost. So it all began back in 2011 with question – Who was Charley Mckee’s father? A death certificate ordered from the Louisiana State Archive would yield  the name of his father James Mckee and his mother Virgina. Birth place of father was listed as Louisiana and birth…

Military Service

Our Veterans Revealed

Sgt. Walter Grimes, MP
TSgt. Walter Grimes, US Air Force

Like so many so many American families, we have a number of men and women in our family who served this country and we are still discovering who they are! Today, I wanted to honor a few that are known in our family. These are just a few.           James McKee, a free man and eastern Ohio native, served in the Civil War at Port Hudson, LA . Many of his descendants continued the tradition of military service. Those that did not enlist or volunteer supported our service men and women through monetary contributions.  I will blog about them later.   Test you knowledge by taking quiz below. African Americans in Civil War History   Learn More about African Americans in Military Service (click/tap title below)