Pennsylvania Grand Review

Honoring African American Patriots 1865 / 2010

You are currently browsing the Grand Review, 2010 category.

Descendants’ Profiles – Alisha Sanders

Posted by: admin

Alisha Sanders

This profile was published in “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865,” a supplement that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. ““Grand Review Times” is avalible for download as a PDF file here. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)

Alisha Sanders was born in Gettysburg and grew up there developing an interest in genealogy when she was in the ninth grade.

“At the time,” she said recently from her home telephone, “Gettysburg College was offering a special program with my high school and I enrolled. “And I have been bitten by the history bug ever since,” she confesses.

Ms. Saunders’ great-great grandfather William H. Matthews was a son of Edward Matthews, a known Underground Railroad operator. William lied about his age, she tells in recalling the story of his life, and enlisted with Company I of the 127th Pennsylvania in September, 1864. It is assumed he signed up for the Army at Camp William Penn in Philadelphia. He was mustered out at Bravos Santiago, Texas on September 8, 1865. Continue Reading…

Posted Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 1:07 am.

2 comments

Descendants’ Profiles – Darlene Colon

Posted by: admin

Abraham Quamony

This profile was published in “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865,” a supplement that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. ““Grand Review Times” is avalible for download as a PDF file here. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)

Darlene Colon lives and breathes history. Her work hours as well as her leisure hours are filled with historical matters. She has found through her research that the stories of her family are woven into dozens of stories putting them directly into the main stream of Pennsylvania and American history.

It was not long after the list of 100 USCT Veterans was posted, one worker noted recently, that Ms. Colon found one of her ancestors and was able to piece together his story with things she already knew about eight or nine other ancestors she had traced through records in archives and libraries and other places where she could find creditable sources.

A resident of Lancaster, Ms. Colon is a member of the Pennsylvania Past Players, a living history group created by the Cultural and Heritage Tourism Office of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Tourism. In this group of highly-trained, professional actors Ms. Colon portrays the renowned Lydia Hamilton Smith, the “colored woman” who lived with Thaddeus Stevens (dying, incidentally with an estate of roughly a half million dollars, Continue Reading…

Posted Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 12:50 am.

1 comment

Descendants’ Profiles – Christopher Frisby

Posted by: admin

Historic Marker in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercersburg, PA

This profile was published in “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865,” a supplement that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. ““Grand Review Times” is avalible for download as a PDF file here. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)

Christopher Frisby, a native of Mercersburg, is a descendant of a number of soldiers who served in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. Among them is his great-great-great grandfather, Hezekia Watson who served as a member of Company I of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. This is the regiment spotlighted in the film, Glory, starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington. Watson was wounded in the Battle of Fort Wagner on July 18, 1863, the same battle chronicled in the film. Born in Mercersburg, Watson also died there and was buried in the town’s African American burial ground, Zion Union Cemetery, a three-acre property in the Franklin County community that rests along the Mason-Dixon Line. The cemetery was incorporated in 1876, and was funded in part by the pension funds earned by Mercersburg’s USCT veterans. 38 USCT Civil War veterans are buried here and records show that 13 of these men served in the 54th Massachusetts.

Frisby holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and relates that his other great-great-great grandfather buried at Zion Union, Robert Henry Stoner, Sr., was a member of the U.S. Colored Infantry. Stoner was born in 1838 and served in Company F of the 8th U.S. Colored Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged as a corporal on June 24, 1865. He is also related to Thomas Cuff who served in the 54th Massachusetts and William Cuff who served in the 55th Massachusetts.

Frisby has been one of the leaders in the conservation effort to bring a proper dignity back to the Cemetery and has worked with many other local people including boy scouts and girl scouts to improve the site partly as a memorial to this Continue Reading…

Posted Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 12:43 am.

Add a comment

Descendants’ Profiles – Anthony Taylor

Posted by: admin

Anthony Taylor

This profile was published in “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865,” a supplement that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. ““Grand Review Times” is avalible for download as a PDF file here. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)

Anthony Taylor, a software computer engineer living in Coatesville, feels a definite responsibility in the knowledge he carries about with him as a descendant of a soldier in the United States Colored Troops.

“I started out with just a little information passed on by the family,” Taylor said recently while discussing his ancestor, Solomon Butcher, “And I was able to grow from there – to add to it, and to help preserve the story and pass it on.”

Taylor is quick to credit his wife, Dr. LaTonya Thames Taylor, with spurring his interest in his family history and helping him to mine the resources available. His wife, a professor of history at West Chester University, is a scholar, or lead instructor, in the Live and Learn program sponsored by the Bureau of Cultural Heritage Tourism, a high intensity learning seminar that combines reading, discussion and analysis with fun and recreation and travel.

Anthony Taylor’s great-great grandfather Butcher enrolled in the army at Lancaster on January 4, 1864, he learned, and served in the 25th Regiment, Company A. Born in 1844, Butcher was 20 years old when he entered the Army and after his service he lived a full life, dying Continue Reading…

Posted Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 12:37 am.

Add a comment

Front and Center: Some Who Served in the United States Colored Troops

Posted by: willsa

Author of Front And Center

Author Anita Wills Blog About her Civil War Ancestors

“No officer in this regiment now doubts that the key to the successful prosecution of this war lies in the unlimited employment of black troops. Their superiority lies simply in the fact that they know the country, while white troops do not, and that they have peculiarities of temperament, position, and motive, which belong to them, alone. Instead of leaving their homes and families to fight they are fighting for their homes and families, and they show the resolution and sagacity which a personal purpose gives.”[1]

Approximately 180,000 African-Americans, comprising One Hundred sixty-three units, served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and many more served in the Union Navy.  Native Americans served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT), while some, mainly in the south, fought for the Confederates.  Black Indians, served in colored regiments with other African American and Native American soldiers.[2]

After the Civil War, many USCT veterans struggled for recognition and had difficulty obtaining the pensions rightful to them. The Federal government did not address the inequality until 1890 and many of the veterans did not receive service and disability pensions until the early 1900’s. My ancestors, Henry Green and Uriah Martin, applied for Pensions, and left documents of their lives before and after the Civil War.  When it came to Henry Green, and Uriah Martin, my mother told us they came from the Welsh Mountains. She passed down what she was told, and we did not doubt that what she said was true. The census records and documents on our ancestors, are proof that her version was correct. She stated that, Uriah Martin’s brother, William Penn Martin settled in California after the Civil War.

I found information on a William Martin in Yolo County California, who was born in Pennsylvania. He fit the profile somewhat but I have not proved him to my satisfaction. I was thrown off by the racial designation of white on the 1870 census. There was another William Martin at Michigan Bar, in Sacramento, and he too was from Pennsylvania, and is listed as white. Great Uncle William Martin’s trail in California has grown cold, and remains a mystery to our family.

The Martin and Green men, lived closer to the land then Walter Samuel, and were a little more rugged. Henry Green had tattoos of Anchors on both forearms, a fact that was mentioned in his Civil War Records.  They were remnants of the Natives, Free Blacks, and whites, who lived in and around the Welsh Mountains. The Welsh Mountain is a Community, which cuts through Lancaster and Chester County in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  The Mountains were a place of refuge for escaped slaves, free blacks, and Natives avoiding deportation to reservations. Many of the whites who fled into the mountains were criminals, or running from Indentured Servitude. During Pennsylvania’s slave period, African slaves and indentured whites both sought freedom in the Mountains. They soon made up a rugged group, now known as, Tri-Racial Isolates.

My mother passed the history of our ancestors through stories she told, when we were children. It was a means of keeping us occupied during the cold Pennsylvania Winters.  She spoke of the Civil War and our ancestors who were part of the Colored Troops. We learned about the Civil War in History Class, and looked through the books, for mention of the Colored Troop.  There was no mention of them in the history books, nor in the books in our library.  I knew that my mother would not make up tales about the family.  It was not until 1983 that I ordered copies of Uriah Martin and Henry Greens Civil War Records.  My mother and I poured over those records to glean information.

The Green and Martin families, were descendants of those rugged mountain folks, but lived in both worlds. They would come down and work on area farms and then head back to the mountains.  In later years, the young people came down, married, and/or joined the Military. My Grandfather Martin was the last of our line to live in the Mountains.  I remember going up there and seeing the haze over the trees. It was absolutely beautiful, and breathtaking, something that is hard to find words to describe. There were cases of people who wandered in the Welsh Mountains told Harrowing tales, of seeing Ghost like figures, and being shot at. There are even stories about people going in the Mountains and disappearing without a trace. These days there are only a few descendants, of the original people left on the Mountain. Developers have swept in, building upscale homes for Middle Class Families.

The Underground Railroad Colored Soldiers and the Welsh Mountains

My mother spoke about our Welsh Mountain ancestors, having been under the protection of William Penn. Her Paternal grandfather was named William Penn Martin, after his fathers brother, William Penn Martin Senior.  They and their ancestors, considered themselves, “Penn’s Indians”, even after the land was taken, and most Natives were shipped to Reservations out west. They were the Conestoga and Susquehanna who lived along the Rivers and Creeks in Chester and Lancaster County.

The area where they hunted, and fished, was also part of the Underground Railroad, which led from Southern States like, Virginia and Maryland to points north.  The Underground Railroad had many stops throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, because of it’s proximity to the south. My Great-Great Grandfather, Robert Pinn, was one of the unsung heroes of the Underground Railroad. He and his family were free blacks living in Virginia, until 1853, when the fled to Columbia (Lancaster County), Pennsylvania. He was a vocal Baptist Minister in Virginia and continued to Minister in Columbia, until he was forced to flee to Burlington New Jersey.  Robert Pinn was from a long line of Virginia’s Free Colored Population.  His grandfather, Rawley Pinn was a Revolutionary War Soldier, who fought at The Siege of Yorktown. His wife, Elizabeth Jackson-Pinn, was also a descendant of Free Persons of  Color, and her grandfather, Charles Lewis was a Sailor and Soldier during the Revolutionary War. Continue Reading…

Posted Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 at 3:21 am.

67 comments

Pennsylvania Grand Review – Calendar of Events

Posted by: admin


Check out the latest calendar of events for Pennsylvania Grand Review. These events, some of which start in early June 2010, include:

  • White Carnation League Events – The Pennsylvania White Carnation League is an alliance of descendants of USCT soldiers and includes scholars, humanists, interpreters, and supporters from the communities who support their legacy. White Carnation League events build engagement and exchange among advocates and stewards.
  • Live and Learn: History Salons and Open Dialogues – Live and Learn book salons and weekends provide immersion experiences for communities engaged in interpreting and presenting Underground Railroad experiences. This year’s theme examines African American Patriots and the Civil War.
  • Open Dialogue! – “Lincoln and the USCT ,“ Live and Learn scholars moderate a dialogue with historians Harold Holzer and James Horton.
  • USCT Symposium at the Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg

You can download the complete calendar of events here.

Posted Friday, May 21st, 2010 at 11:00 am.

Add a comment

Video – USCT Grand Review on WGAL

Posted by: admin

WGAL ( Channel 8 ) recently had a story on the plans to reenact Harrisburg’s USCT Grand Review later this year. You can watch the video clip by clicking here.

You can learn more about Midland Cemetery here.

You need Adobe Flash installed on your computer in order to watch this video.

Posted Friday, May 21st, 2010 at 10:00 am.

Add a comment

Grand Review Times Supplement

Posted by: admin

Check out the supplement “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865” that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. You can read a short essay entitled “Laying the Groundwork for the USCT: Lincoln and Emancipation,” read several descendants’ profiles, and learn more about how to get involved in this event. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)

(Courtesy of visitpa.com & ShowcaseNow! Magazine)

Posted Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 10:38 am.

Add a comment

Descendants’ Profiles

Posted by: admin

These five descendants’ profiles were published in “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865,” a supplement that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. You can read these profiles by clicking on the images below or by downloading the supplement. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)

Share your own story by adding a comment to this post or by emailing hdivided@dickinson.edu.

(Courtesy of visitpa.com & ShowcaseNow! Magazine)

Posted Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 5:54 am.

Add a comment

We are looking for 100 young African American men ages 18-30!

Posted by: admin

We are looking for 100 young African American men ages 18-30!

Including:

  • Twenty from the five counties of Philadelphia and the countryside
  • Twenty from the eight counties of Dutch Country Roads (Central Pa.)
  • Twenty from the counties of the Susquehanna Valley and Alleghenies and Her Valleys
  • Twenty from the Western Pennsylvania counties of Pittsburgh and its countryside
  • Twenty from the Appalachian Region counties of Pa Wilds, Up State Pa and Great Lakes Region
  • Training and certification, continuing education credits, stipends, and placement will be provided to all participants.

HOW TO APPLY

  • This project is primarily designed for current students with well disciplined learning skills and self management techniques. In addition, reading, writing, speaking, time management, and research skills are paramount to the success of the program. Travel is required.
  • This project is supported in part by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. First priority will be given to young African American men enrolled in one of the following institutions:
    • Bloomsburg, California, Cheney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, West Chester.
  • Consult your Provost office for more information.
  • Students enrolled in full time, part time, or continuing education projects at other academic institutions are also invited to apply.
  • Candidates should be currently enrolled in some academic program that demonstrates their ability for research, project management, demonstration of capacity via grade point average, projects and classroom products etc. Specifically, students will need to get a recommendation from a professor or instructor nominating them and assuring their self discipline and ability in self guided research.
  • Journalism, communications, history, political science, ROTC, sociology, education, theater, museum studies, tourism and hospitality students are all encouraged to apply.
  • Interested students need to submit the letter of endorsement, an application including name, address, university, phone, cell, face book address, and email address, photo and one paragraph bio. The bio should include job skills, academic and practical achievement, skills, hobbies, clubs, community service and other achievements, award.
  • The application should also include a 300-500 word essay on one of the following themes:
    • Liberty
    • Equality
    • Community
    • Fraternity
  • The entire application package needs to be mailed no later than May 21st. to:

Lenwood Sloan
Director of Cultural and Heritage Tourism Program
Department of Community & Economic Development
(717)720-1313
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225

  • If you have additional questions, please email Mr. Sloan at lsloan@state.pa.us
  • Due to the volume of inquires; all questions will be answered by e-mail. Generally no phone inquiries will receive reply!
  • NO ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED! Incomplete applications are not likely to be considered
  • A special orientation event will be held May 20th in Harrisburg at Midtown Cinema and Midtown bookstore. Visit the events page on housedivided.dickinson.edu/grandreview for more information about these orientations and interviews.
  • Mr. Sloan will email candidates selected for interviews no later than May 26th.
  • A project team will visit select institutions in the state universities system to meet candidates between June 1st and June 15th so that everyone selected for interviews has been given both one on one and small group interviews and exchanges. State University sites include: Cheney, Millersville, Kutztown, Shippensburg, California University, Bloomsburg, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock.

During this on-campus visit—selected students should plan to spend the afternoon (noon-4pm) with the team:

  • Students should:
    • Prepare to attend the 90 min group workshop ( period movement for actors) followed by project orientation;
    • Present a 1-3 minute speech based on their submitted essay;

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

  • In addition, Selected Students will be required to
    • (a) Attend the Penn State university retreat – June 26-27
    • (b) Attend the men’s soldiers’ camp Aug. 28-29
    • (c) Participate in your team’s conservation weekend activities
    • (d) Attend the area project based learning events at designated school
    • (e) Attend the Grand Review activities Nov 5-6
    • (f) Participate in your team’s Nov 14 commemoration events
    • (g) Participate in Gettysburg commemoration Nov 19th
  • Students will be provided a stipend of $100.00, a travel stipend of $50.00 and meals and lodging plus learning materials for each of the seven (7) engagements above.
  • If you are not currently enrolled in a continuing education or academic program you must seek an additional letter of recommendation confirming you ability to achieve self managed.

ALL PARTIICPANTS MUST BE SELF RELIANT AND WILLING AND ABLE TO TRAVEL WITHIN THE 60 -90 MILE RADIUS OF THEIR HOME/UNIVERSITY LOCATIONS!

Posted Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 at 11:01 am.

Add a comment