Biographies

Sandy Addison was born in Sumter County, Alabama, sometime around the year 1839. He was likely an enslaved person before the war. He attended the pre-war wedding of Harrison and Martha Hodges in Tippah County, Mississippi. He lived a short time in Memphis, Tennessee, in the immediate postwar years but later relocated to Wrightsville, Arkansas, where he died on September 30, 1913.


Enoch Agnew was born October 30, 1808, in Abbeville County, South Carolina. In 1830, he graduated from the Medical College of South Carolina and engaged as a physician. Around 1852, he moved his family to Tippah County, Mississippi. There, he kept at least forty-eight persons enslaved as of 1860.


Isaac Agnew was a "colored preacher and pillow servant" that was most likely enslaved by Dr. _____ Agnew in Tippah County, Mississippi. He performed the wedding of Harrison and Martha Hodges sometime before the war.


Samuel Andrew Agnew was the son of Dr. Enoch Agnew, of Tippah County, Mississippi. He was a minister and kept a thorough diary of the Civil War period that is available through Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina.


Abram Allen was a Methodist minister in Craven and later Beaufort County, North Carolina. He officiated the wedding of Ephraim and Rosetta Crandall at Rosedale Plantation in 1844. In an 1894 affidavit, Elizabeth W. Blount described Allen as "a highly respected colored man . . . always free who lived in this town."


Daniel Anderson, born circa 1824, was present at the Fort Pillow massacre and was detailed to assist in burying the Federal dead after it ended. It is unclear if he was a soldier or laborer in government service at the time.


George Askew was born circa 1845. Before the war, he resided in the Pitch Landing community of Hertford County, North Carolina, where he was enslaved by John Outlaw Askew. In the winter of 1863 (as best as George could remember), he and about eighteen other enslaved people left the Askew plantation, boarded a gun boat, and escaped to Plymouth, North Carolina, where the men joined the 2nd United States Colored Cavalry. In July 1876, he was a resident of Mill Creek, Elizabeth City County, Virginia.


John Outlaw Askew was born on October 11, 1813, the only son of George Askew and Anne Outlaw. Askew was a prominent and wealthy farmer in Pitch Landing, Hertford County, North Carolina. He kept several dozen people enslaved over the course of his life: 4 people in 1840, 50 in 1850, and 100 in 1860. He died on July 9, 1878.


Daniel W. Atwood was born enslaved December 18, 1843, in Wilcox County, Alabama. His father was also his owner, a man by the name of Henry S. Atwood. In October 1864, Atwood joined the 100th U.S.C.T. He attained the rank of sergeant major and was mustered out in September 1865. Following the war, he was a public school teacher until 1872 when he accepted a position as a clerk with the Pension Bureau. He remained in this position, working his way up to special agent (special examiner), until ill health forced his retirement around September 1886.


In February, 1867, Africa Bailey opened an account with the Freedman's Bank. The application provides the information known here. He was then a preacher for the Second Baptist Church (often referred to as "Africa Bailey's Church) at Fort Pickering in Memphis. He was born in Southampton County, Virginia. His mother and father, Aaron and Becky, were both deceased by the time of the application, as were his siblings Jack Times and sisters Ursula and Angelina.


Nathaniel Bailey was born around 1824 in Tennessee. He married Emily Toler on August 28, 1865, in Memphis, Tennessee; regimental chaplain George W. Richardson officiated. In December 1866, he was a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. In 1890, he appears on the veterans census in Tunica County, Mississippi. He applied for an invalid pension on February 9, 1892.


Joseph Hartwell Barrett was born April 15, 1824, in Vermont. Barrett was Commissioner of Pensions from April 15, 1861 to May 1, 1868, serving the administrations of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He was a close friend of Lincoln and authored four books on Lincoln's life and political career.


Finis Langdon Bates was born in Itawamba County, Mississippi. He was an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee. He is perhaps best remembered for his book, The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth, published in 1907.


Ellen Benton was born in Hardin County, Tennessee, on October 18, 1855. She was at one point the chief of the Lillie Bell Lodge in Savannah, Tennessee.