So far, I have about 345 USCT soldiers claiming different counties in the Shenandoah Valley as their place of birth… and I’m not even half way through the index which I’ve been looking into.Ultimately, all total, there may be enough to equate to one infantry regiment, or at least a hefty sized battalion. In the big scheme of things, to some, that may not seem like much, especially compared to the number of Confederate regiments that hailed from the Shenandoah. Yet, if that is your course of thinking, consider also that these men were the ones who noted where they were born; just how many did not make that annotation on their enlistment papers? Would the numbers climb to two regiments… three?
What I’m also finding is that the “free on or before April 19, 1861” is a fairly common entry. This could mean a number of things, from the fact that the men were freed prior to the Virginia Convention’s vote to them freeing themselves. It’s impossible to tell, but worth noting since it appears quite often.
Over at my Too Long Forgotten blog, I’ve added an entry today for two men named Appleberry/Applebury. Both were born in Page County, and may well have been brothers. Both resided in south-central Pennsylvania by 1863; one was drafted, and one volunteered. Both also had noteworthy service records, participating in a number of battles over the last two years of the war. Considering these two men, and the estimated 1,000 or so USCTs that may have been born in the Shenandoah Valley, how does this change your perspective, if at all, on the roll of the Valley’s people in the Civil War? Is your vision expanded from the very white, very Stonewall Jackson, anti-Sheridan, pro-Confederate perspective? If not then, what about when factored together with Southern Unionists from the Shenandoah Valley?
More to follow on the USCTs of the Shenandoah Valley. Stay-tuned in the coming month also for a piece about the Conrads of Winchester, and some lead-up to the First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas.