Thursday, May 16, 2013

Private Samuel Cole and the Battle of the Crater 1864

The motion picture Glory, starring Denzel WashingtonMorgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick, portrayed the African-American soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. It showed their training and participation in several battles, including the second assault on Fort Wagner on July 18, 1863. Although the 54th was not a USCT (United States Colored Troop) regiment, but a Volunteer regiment originally raised from free blacks in Boston, the film portrays the experiences and hardships of African-American troops during the Civil War.
 Many county residents do no know that over 30 blacks from Lawrence county fought in the Civil War. 
Private Samuel Cole was born 1841 in Lawrence County, the son of Elihue Cole and Alletta Morris. Private Cole was killed during the Battle of the Crater near Petersburg, Virginia on July 30th 1864 and is buried near there. Private Samuel Cole is our first known casualty of the Battle of the Crater. Private Cole was an ancestor of the present day Cole, Anderson, and Morris families of Lawrence County.  His story is just one of many more to discover and share. 
You can learn more by checking out  the Lawrence County Black Civil War Display while at the museum during the Black History Tour on May 25th.

Tickets on sale now at the Chamber of Commerce in Lawrenceville. Since seating is limited, participants are urged to buy their tickets early.  (This is going to be one of the most interesting and unique tours the Historical Society has ever sponsored, so don't miss it!)