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Civil War Veterans

In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth – ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters – FREDERICK DOUGLASS

Henry Campbell Durrett

1837 - 1912
Descended from early Virginia settlers.
Raised in antebellum Kentucky by slave owners.
Became anti-slavery while at Christian college.
Enlisted in Union Army on Jan. 1, 1862.
Lieutenant in First West Virginia Cavalry.
Fought in Virginia against Jackson and Mosby.
Fought hard throughout the Gettysburg campaign.
Promoted to captain in Feb 1865 and
led a company in the final Appomattox campaign.
Returned to Kentucky and taught school.
Obituary said nothing about his wartime service.

(ancestor of my wife and our daughters)

Robinson Robert Pearson

1830 - 1887

Descended from early Pennsylvania Quakers.
seventh-generation Quaker and sixth-generation blacksmith.
Raised in Ohio by abolitionist parents.
Immigrated to Texas in 1850s.
Refused Confederate conscription and escaped to Mexico.
Enlisted in Union Army in New Orleans.
Lieutenant in First Texas (Union) Cavalry.
Fought in fierce engagements in Louisiana and Texas.
re-settled in Taylor, Texas after the war
No mention on the gravestone or in the obituary of his military service.

(ancestor of my wife and our daughters)

William Gentry

1832 - 1885
Graduated from West Point in 1856.
Captain with 17th US Infantry (Regulars)
at 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg & Gettysburg.
Made Brevet Major in Overland Campaign 1864.
Brevetted Lt. Colonel for Battle of Five Forks, Apr 1865.
Served in occupation of Texas and Louisiana post-war.
Commanded 25th Infantry Rgt (Afr Am) at Fort Snelling.
Passed away while serving at Fort Snelling. Buried there.

Henry Mack


Photo courtesy of Minneapolis History Collection
and Special Collections, Minneapolis Central Library
1836 – 1945
Born a slave in Alabama.
Escaped and fled to Union forces at Helena, Arkansas.
Enlisted in Union Army on Dec. 15, 1863.
Served in 57th US Colored Troops.
Saw his first action at Little Rock in April & May 1863.
Served after the war as occupation troops.
Was in Minneapolis by 1922.
Active in Grand Army of the Republic.
Well known in Twin Cities among veterans circles.
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WILLIAM COLVILL

1830 - 1905
Practiced law in Minnesota before the war.
Published Red Wing Sentinel as a Douglas Democrat.
Enlisted in the Union Army and became captain.
Saw heavy fighting at First Bull Run, wounded at 7 Days.
Made Lt. Colonel after Antietam. Severely wounded
in charge that saved Union line at Gettysburg.
Active in state government after the war.
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