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Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Battle of Nashville and the Role of Williamson County's US Colored Troop Veterans

Today is the 152nd anniversary of the first day of fighting at the Battle of Nashville (December 15-16, 1864).  Here in Williamson County nearly everyone has heard the story of the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864.  But maybe not everyone realizes that when that fight ended it was just setting the stage for an even bigger battle a few weeks later -  and at least 164 men from Williamson County - and probably more - could have been fighting with their US Colored Infantry units in that battle.  

On the night the Battle of Franklin ended the US Army forces - under the command of Major General John M. Schofield - left Franklin by crossing the Harpeth River around 11 pm heading to Nashville - which they reached about noon the next day.  The defeated Confederate Army of Tennessee, led by Lieutenant General John Bell Hood, soon followed and took up positions just south of the city of Nashville where they dug in hoping to draw the US forces into attacking. 


By User:Andrei nacu at en.wikipedia - Own work, Public Domain,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9539225

Upon its arrival in Nashville, General Schofield's Army had come under Major General George H. Thomas' control - who now had a combined force of approximately 55,000 men.  Most of these forces were battle-tested veterans - but some of them - mostly the men in Major General James B. Steedman's provisional forces had been used primarily for garrison duty and as railroad guards. Many of these soldiers were members of the US Colored Troops - the Army's segregated African American infantry, artillery and cavalry units.  

Maj. General James B. Steedman
Commander of US Colored Troops at the Battle of Nashville

Major General Steedman's Provisional Forces included eight regiments of United States Colored Troops:

• 12th US Colored Infantry
• 13th US Colored Infantry
• 14th US Colored Infantry
• 16th US Colored Infantry
• 17th US Colored Infantry
• 18th US Colored Infantry
• 44th US Colored Infantry

• 100th US Colored Infantry

These African American regiments contributed a combined 5,000 men to the US forces.   The 14th, 16th and 44th were all under the command of Colonel T. J. (Thomas Jefferson) Morgan.
Col T.J. Morgan
In his book Reminiscences of Service with Colored Troops in the Army of the Cumberland, 1863-65, published in 1885, Col. Morgan descri
bed the two weeks' of waiting and preparation between the Battle of Franklin and the Battle of Nashville this way:
That fortnight interval was memorable indeed. . . .   In the meantime the weather became intensely cold, and a heavy sleet covered the ground, rendering it almost impossible for either army to move at all. For the few days our sufferings were quite severe. We had only shelter tents for the men, with very little fuel, and many of those who had lost their blankets keenly felt their need.  
The Battle of Nashville was important because the ultimate US victory marked the end of significant fighting in the Western Theatre of the Civil War by crushing the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  This left the region in US hands for the remainder of the war.  But it was also significant because it is one of the few major battles in which whole regiments of black men were used as a fighting force. Previously, they had primarily been used in ancillary or support capacities during the War and only had generally seen action when attacked in pursuit of those duties.  At the Battle of Nashville, many of these men were sent to fight for the first time - and they performed admirably.  The men of the 13th USCI in particular were placed in a very difficult position and they suffered very heavy casualties despite heroic efforts on the battlefield.  A complete account of the Battle and their contributions is beyond the scope of this post, but several good accounts exist such as this one in the New York Times and this blog.  Today's post will focus more specifically on recognizing the men from Williamson County who were there on those two fateful days.

Unknown Location -somewhere on the Union line in Nashville during the Battle of Nashville
Photo: Library of Congress; In the public domain.

On the morning of December 15, 1864 General Thomas ordered his forces to attack the Confederate Army of Tennessee and push them back, south of their defensive position, which they did.   Here is a portion of the official "Report of Maj. Gen. James B. Steedman", the commander of the US Colored Troops as well as some troops from Indiana and Ohio.  This account was written a few weeks after the Battle and describes the actions of his men on that day: 
December 15, . . . Throughout the day, and until the action closed at dark, my command behaved nobly, making the several assaults ordered with cool, steady bravery, retiring only when ordered to do so. A portion of the command suffered severely; but no troops, behaving as gallantly as they did in assaulting fortified positions, could have suffered less, or borne their losses more heroically.
Maj. Gen. Steedman's troops had performed well in their first day of the Battle - although there had been many USCT casualties at the Granbury's Lunette, the only major Union losses that day.  However, the fighting was not over and Confederate General John Bell Hood consolidated his army that night just two miles south of the city and hunkered down to continue the battle the following morning.  The next day fighting concentrated around a 300-foot-high hill - called Overton Hill or Peach Orchard Hill - located on Judge John Overton's property, not far from his residence at Travellers Rest. Freeman Thomas of the 12th USCI, Company K, recounted in his pension application that he was shot in John Overton's woodlot in the fighting there that day.  Today the hill is dissected by Harding Place between Interstate 65 and Franklin Road. There is a flag pole on the hill at nearby Franklin Road Academy.  You can visit a portion of the original Peach Orchard Hill where these brave troops made their assault. From InterstateI-65, exit at Harding Place, and head west toward Franklin Road.  Turn right onto Franklin Road, then turn right onto your first right onto Elysian Fields Road. Follow to the dead-end at the end of the street.



The Confederates had placed obstacles of fallen trees in the way of the approaching US Army and used this to slow them down.  Over 6,000 U.S. infantry attacked the Confederate line while being attacked by Confederate artillery.  Only the 13th USCI managed to make it to the enemy line to fight - but their casualties were high. Of the 556 USCT troops, 229 were killed, including five color-bearers, and ultimately they were pushed back. Many believe this was the single deadliest day for the US Colored Troops during the Civil War.  

The Battle of Nashville, by Kurz & Allison, created/published circa 1891
An artistic rendering of the US Colored Troops at this key Civil War Battle
Source: Library of Congress, Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-pga-01886,LC-USZC4-506, LC-USZ62-1289

The History of the 78th Volunteer Infantry (1905), a group which had spent a lot of time in Franklin and the Williamson County area during the war, contains this remembrance of the Battle and the USCT soldiers' contribution:



Colonel Morgan remembered the day this way:
It was a grand and terrible sight to see those men climb that hill over rocks and fallen trees, in the face of a murderous fire of cannon and musketry, only to be
driven back. White and black mingled together in the charge, and on the retreat. . . . When General Thomas rode over the battle-field and saw the bodies of colored men side by side with the foremost, on the very works of the enemy, he turned to his staff, saying: 'Gentlemen, the question in settled; negroes will fight.
From The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents and More,
by Frank Moore, Volume 11, 1868, p. 89

Major General Steedman's report contained the following:

From The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents and More,
 by Frank Moore, Volume 11, 1868, p. 89
Despite these heavy losses elsewhere on the battlefield things were going well for the US troops  and ultimately they resoundingly defeated the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  Later that day the US Army began to chase the Confederates south out of Nashville.  Hood's Retreat back through Franklin and into Alabama would take several days - with US soldiers including members of the Colored Troops on their heels the whole way.


Williamson County USCT Involvement in the Battle of Nashville
Among the US Colored Troops who fought during the two days of the Battle of Nashville it is possible that many men from Williamson County were fighting.  My initial review of the records of the soldiers whom I have previously identified as being from Williamson County has shown that at least :
  • 53 men served in the 12th USCI
  • 59 men served in the 13th USCI
  • 10 men served in the 14th USCI
  • 4 men served in the 16th USCI
  • 36 men served in the 17th USCI
  • five imen served in the 44th USCI  
Of the 53 men from Williamson County that served in the 12th US Colored Infantry, I have found six men with references in their military records to being specifically involved in the fighting at the Battle of Nashville.  One of them, Freeman Thomas stated in an interview in the 1920's that, "I was in the Battle of Nashville, when we whipped old Hood."  All were wounded and two of those would ultimately die from their injuries:
  • Ben Swanson [Swansey] 2nd, 12th US Colored Infantry Co F - Enlisted as a 20 year old farmer on August 12, 1863 in Nashville; born in Franklin, Williamson County; worked as a teamster; wounded at Battle of Nashville, Dec 16, 1864; mustered out Jan. 16, 1866 in Nashville; Freedman Bank records
  • Winstead Owens 12th US Colored Infantry Co G - 22 year old farmer; enlisted on September 10, 1864 in Sullivan Branch; born in Williamson County; Wounded at Battle of Nashville Dec.16, 1864; Died of wounds received at the Battle of Nashville, Dec. 24, 1864; I can’t find his burial records
  • Adam Hughes 12th US Colored Infantry Co I - 24 year old farmer; enlisted on August 12, 1863 in Nashville; born in Williamson County; Dec 16, 1864 wounded at Battle of Nashville (slight); mustered out Jan. 16, 1866 Nashville; Rick Warwick’s Book, Williamson County in Black and White – includes this quote by Dr. Samuel Henderson – November 13, 1862: “My boy Jack with John Hughes’ Isaac and Adam . . . ran off last night and have no doubt gone to the Federals at Nashville.”  I suspect he is referring to Private Adam Hughes of the 12th USCI
  • Asbury Degraffenried 12th US Colored Infantry Co K - 19 year old farmer; enlisted on August 12, 1863 in Nashville; born in Williamson County; died Dec. 20, 1864 at General Hospital No. 11 of wounds received in the Battle of Nashville Dec. 16, 1864; gunshot wound through abdomen; his military records give his grave No. 10510; but I can’t find his burial site in the Nashville National Cemetery
  • Frank North 12th US Colored Infantry Co K - 19 year old farmer; mulatto; enlisted on August 12, 1863 in Nashville; born in Williamson County; Dec.16, 1864 wounded in action and sent to Nashville; by January back with his unit; mustered out Jan. 16,1866 in Nashville
  • Freeman Thomas 12th US Colored Infantry Co K - Enlisted under the name Freeman Cruthers – (Carothers) – went by Freeman Thomas after the war; 22 year old farmer; enlisted on August 12, 1863 in Nashville; born in Williamson County; wounded in action and sent to Nashville, Dec. 16, 1864 – presumably at the Battle of Nashville; discharged Jan. 16, 1866; Buried at Toussaint L'Overture Cemetery in Franklin - photo of grave; will and probate records filed in Williamson County courthouse; his family owned his house on Church Street until the 1970s (at least); pension record; death certificate in 1936 at age 91
My research has unearthed 59 men from Williamson County who served in the famed 13th US Colored Infantry that fought at Overton Hill.  Of those men, I have found 29 with military records that specifically reference their involvement in the Battle of Nashville. Six of those men were wounded but survived, three were wounded and died later from their injuries and one was killed in action:
  • Derry Armstrong, 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Born 1827; Enlisted in Franklin on August 12,1863 as a 36 year old farmer; born in Maury County; June 25, 1864 sick in General Hospital in Nashville; back with unit by January 1865; Oct. 9, 1865 back in Hospital in Nashville but with unit by the end of Dec.; was in skirmish at Johnsonville 1864; involved in the Battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1864; musters out with unit January 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Dublin Armstrong 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Born 1838; Enlisted in Franklin on August 12, 1863 as a 25 year old farmer; born in Maury County; was in the battle near Nashville on December 16, 1864; Dec. 27, 1864 sick in hospital in Nashville; back with unit by May 1865; Jan. 10, 1866 musters out in Nashville 
  • Houston Armstrong 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - B 1839; Enlisted in Franklin on August 12,1863 as a 24 year old farmer; born in Maury County; later promoted to a musician; was in the battle near Nashville Dec 16, 1864; musters out with unit January 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Julius Armstrong 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Born 1834 in Maury County; Enlisted in Franklin on August 12,1863 as a 30 year old mason; was in the battle near Nashville Dec 16, 1864; Feb. 8, 1864 promoted to corporal; later reduced; Dec. 20, 1864 sick in hospital in Murfreesboro; mustered out Jan. 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • McNeil Armstrong 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Born 1844; Enlisted in Franklin on August 12,1863 as a 20 year old farmer; born in Maury County; was in the battle near Nashville Dec 16, 1864; musters out with unit January 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Samuel Armstrong 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Born 1845; Enlisted in Franklin on August 12,1863 as a 19 year old farmer; born in Maury County; was in the battle near Nashville Dec 16, 1864; died of wounds received in that battle on Dec 20, 1864; buried Jan 1, 1865 US Burial Ground - South West City Cemetery L – 96; #11253
  • Allen Buford 13th US Colored Infantry Co A- enlisted in Franklin, TN on August 12, 1863 when he was 19 years old; farmer; born in Mississippi; July 1864 sick in quarters; was in the battle near Nashville Dec 16, 1864; musters out with unit January 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Squire Daniels [Esquire?] 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Enlisted at 19 years of age in Franklin, Tenn. born in Maury County; He was a baker; wounded on Dec. 16, 1864 at the Battle of Nashville; in hospital in Nashville; mustered out by order of the War Dept. of May 22, 1865; transportation provided to Franklin 
  • William Friarson 13th US Colored Infantry - Co A - B 1837; Enlisted in Franklin as a private, born in Maury County; 26 years old; Aug 16, 1863; farmer; wounded in the battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1865 and re-joined his company for duty on 30th of March 1865 [probably enslaved by the Friersons]; mustered out Jan. 10, 1866 in Nashville; mustered out as a sergeant
  • Friarson, Elijah - 13th US Colored Infantry - Co A - Born in Virginia in 1845; enlisted in Franklin on August 12, 1863 at 18 years old; a farmer [probably ex-slaves of Friersons]; Feb. 8, 1864 promoted to sergeant; May 1, 1864 promoted to corporal; wounded in Battle near Nashville Dec. 16, 1864; in hospital until March 1865; mustered out Jan. 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Solomon Gant - 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - B 1838; enlisted in Franklin at 25 years old; farmer; born in Maury County; was involved in the battle of Nashville on Dec 16, 1864 
  • German Miles - 13th US Colored Infantry Co A / burial records say Co I - B 1833 in Franklin, Tennessee; enlisted on Oct. 22, 1863 in Stephenson, Alabama; 30-year-old laborer; died at the General Hospital No. 16 of wounds received at Battle of Nashville, January 19, 1865; hospital record 11471 US Burial Ground - South West City Cemetery K – 286, #10771
  • John Gordon 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Enlisted in Franklin at age 25; born in Maury County; July 1, 1864 promoted to corporal, was in Battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1864; occupation was a waiter before enlistment; mustered out Jan. 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Thomas Gordon 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - Enlisted in Franklin at age 19; born in Maury County; was in Battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1864; was a farmer before enlistment; Dec. 18, 1864 sick in hospital; back with unit by Jan. 1865; mustered out Jan. 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Essex Granberry 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - enlisted in Franklin at age 23; was a farmer before enlistment; Born in Maury County; was wounded in Battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1864; in the hospital but back with unit by January 1865; mustered out Jan. 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • James Hughes 13th US Colored Infantry Co A - 25 year old farmer; born in Williamson County; enlisted September 30, 1863 in Nashville; Nov. 19, 1863 mustered in at Camp Rosencranz; Sept. 1864 his muster card changed from Private to Musician; was in the battle near Nashville Dec. 16, 1864; his muster cards show him present through December 1865; but his muster out card says that he was sick in a hospital in Nashville and notes that there was no discharge furnished at muster out of his organization – and no date on his muster out card 
  • David Helms 13th US Colored Infantry Co B, 21 year old farmer; “yellow” complexion; born in Williamson County; enlisted August 1, 1863 at the Elk River; wounded in battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1864; in hospital until - Sept. 8, 1865 then discharged due to disability from injury – a gunshot wound of the left leg – 50% disabled 
  • George Helms 13th US Colored Infantry Co B - 21 year old farmer; born in Williamson County; enlisted August 1, 1863 at the Elk River; died from wounds received at the Battle of Nashville Feb 11 1865, General Hospital, Nashville; death certificate says he died of Typhoid Fever at Wilson Hospital - maybe injured and then got sick in the hospital?; grave site – 11985; hospital 451; he was single: his effects; one overcoat, one deep coat, two pair of trousers, one shirt, one pair shoes, one blouse, one feathers? I can’t find his burial records 
  • Austin Pake [Pate?]13th US Colored Infantry Co B - 19 year old farmer; born in Williamson County; enlisted August 1, 1863 at the Elk River; Nov. 19, 1863 Camp Rosencranz; Sept/Oct 1864 on trial for mutiny before General Court Martial Nov. 9, 1864 in Kingston Spring; Dec. 31, 1864 Sentenced to three years’ hard labor with a ball chain; began sentence on January 23, 1865; must have served admirably in the battle of Nashville Dec 1864 because pardoned for "bravery at the Nashville fight" for the mutiny charge upon recommendation of his officers May 27, 1865;  April 2, 1865 sent to small pox hospital Nashville –until he musters out in Jan 1866; musters out Jan. 10, 1866 
  • Hiram Anderson 13th US Colored Infantry Co D - 18 year old farmer; born in Franklin, Williamson County; enlisted September 14, 1863 in Estill Springs; engaged in the Battle of Nashville, Dec. 15 & 16, 1864; AWOL Dec. 27, 1864; Jan 1865 back with unit; Nov. 10, 1865 sick in General Hospital in Nashville; didn’t muster out with unit on Jan. 10, 1866 
  • Benjamin Jordan 13th US Colored Infantry Co D - 19 year old farmer; born in Williamson County; enlisted September 17, 1863 in Murfreesboro; Jan 1, 1864 appointed corporal; later reduced in rank; Injured three times in the Battle of Nashville, spent some time in the hospital; back with his unit by January 1865; mustered out January 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Thomas Grier [Greer? Grear?] 13th US Colored Infantry Co F - Enlisted at 28; born in Williamson County; enlisted September 29, 1863 in Nashville; Dec. 28, 1864 sick in Decatur, Alabama; was in Battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1864; was a laborer before enlistment; mustered out Jan. 10th 1866 in Nashville 
  • Horace Winston 13th US Colored Infantry Co F - 21 year old laborer; born in Williamson County; enlisted September 30, 1863 in Nashville; Dec.7, 1863 on detached service to “Colored Soldiers Rest” Nashville through April 1864; was severely wounded in Battle of Nashville Dec 17, 1864; Died in General Hospital No. 16 of Gangrene; January 6, 1865 Hospital no 11018; can’t find his burial records 
  • Walter Simms 13th US Colored Infantry Co G - 18 year old farmer; born in Williamson County; enlisted October 10, 1863 in Nashville; Nov. 20, 1863 appointed corporal; Jan 20 1864 reduced in rank to musician; Dec. 16, 1864 sick in Nashville; Present during the Battle of Nashville – how if he was in the hospital??; Jan. 15, 1864 returned from hospital; March/April 1865 on duty at Regimental headquarters (as musician?); Jan. 10 1866 musters out in Nashville 
  • Alexander Brown - 13th US Colored Infantry Co H - 18 years old; farmer; enlisted October 22, 1863 in Nashville; Dec. 21, 1864 sick in hospital in Murfreesboro; July/August 1865 was on daily duty as a nurse in the regimental hospital; was in skirmish near Huntington, Tenn. & at Battle of Nashville & Johnsonville; mustered out January 10, 1866 in Nashville 
  • Joseph Crite 13th US Colored Infantry Co H- 22 year old farmer; enlisted November 2, 1863; was in a skirmish near Huntington, Tennessee and in battle of Johnsonville & Nashville, Dec. 15 &16, 1864, 1890 Veterans Census; Pensionvoter registration in Williamson County in 1891; died Oct. 17, 1919 in College Grove, Tennessee; 
  • Jacob Tucker 13th US Colored Infantry Co H - “yellow”; 35 year old farmer; enlisted October 22, 1863; Nov. 19, 1863 Camp Rosencranz was in skirmish near Huntington and Johnsonville; Dec. 10, 1864 sick in Nashville hospital; battle of Nashville Dec 15 & 16, 1864; musters out Jan. 10, 1866 
  • John L. Wesley 13th US Colored Infantry Co H - 30 year old farmer; enlisted October 22, 1863 in Nashville; Feb 1, 1864 – on daily duty in QM department as teamster; Nov 1864 back with unit; May 1865 back in QM Department as a teamster again; Dec. 1, 1865 promoted to corporal; Was in skirmish near Decatur, Alabama and Battle of Nashville, Dec 15 & 16, 1864; January 10, 1866 mustered out in Nashville 
  • William Redman 13th US Colored Infantry Co I - 21 year old laborer; enlisted October 22, 1863 in Stevenson, Alabama; Dec. 12, 1863 promoted to corporal; Dec 1863 sick in quarters; Killed at Battle of Nashville Dec 16, 1864; can’t find his burial records 

Of the 36 men from Williamson County who served in in the 17th US Colored Infantry, I have identified the following five veterans whose military records contain specific references to their service in the Battle of Nashville - two were engaged in action, two appear to have died after being wounded, and one was killed in action:
  • Charles Clayburn 17th US Colored Infantry Co G - Born about 1846; 18 year old farmer when he enlisted; “fair” complexion; enlisted April 5, 1864 in Ashton Mill, Tennessee; killed in action in the Battle of Nashville – Dec. 15, 1864; no burial records 
  • Henry Dotson, 17th US Colored Infantry Co G - Born about 1846; 18 year old farmer when he enlisted on March 24, 1864 in Ashton Mills, Tennessee; April 30, 1864 mustered in Nashville; June 14, 1864 sick in General Hospital Nashville; engaged in action at the Battle of Nashville Dec. 15 & 16, 1864; April 25, 1866 mustered out in Nashville; retained his arms 
  • Henry McPearson - 17th US Colored Infantry Co H - born around 1838 in Spring Hill, Williamson County; 28 year old farmer when he enlisted on November 30, 1863 in Murfreesboro; July 8, 1864 appointed corporal; later reduced; wounded at Battle of Nashville Dec. 15, 1864 by gunshot (arm broken); died at Wilson US Hospital Feb 21, 1865 of pneumonia - perhaps never left the hospital after being wounded?; Hospital Record # 16, grave #121806?; married - widow in Nashville; UR 12186, L – 186, U.S. Burial Ground - South West City Cemetery burial says McPherson 
  • John Woods - 17th US Colored Infantry Co I - born around 1845; 18 year old farmer when he enlisted on November 30, 1863 in Stevenson, Alabama; in Battle of Nashville Dec. 15, 1864; April 25, 1866 mustered out in Nashville 
  • John Jackson - 17th US Colored Infantry Co K - born around 1842; 21 year old farmer; enlisted November 29, 11863 I Stevenson, Alabama; Dec. 16, 1864 wounded, in hospital; died Jan.10, 1864 from wounds received in the Battle of Nashville, It looks as though a pension may have been issued – Pension 672300? Last number not clear; dated Dec. 21, 1914; No burial information found

Of the ten men who served in the 14th USCI and the four men of the 16th USCI from Williamson County their military records contain no specific references to the Battle of Nashville - however - it is known that their units were present for the fighting.  Perhaps whomever was responsible for marking their muster cards did not indicate specifically their involvement in the Battle the way the other units did.  It is impossible to know.  I have not had time to pull pension records for these men, so that may provide some clues in the future.


So far, my research has shown that only one of the five men from Williamson County who served in the 44th USCI has a mention of the battle in his military records - and he deserted on December 16th - the second day of the fighting. Three of the other five Williamson County men of the 44th were POWs at the time - having been captured by Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederate Cavalry on October 13, 1864 in Dalton, Georgia; all three later escaped and rejoined their companies. One additional soldier, Granville Scales, had also been taken prisoner on October 13th but managed to quickly escape and rejoin the 44th.  But then on December 2nd as he was on a train bound from Chattanooga to Nashville to join the forces in preparation for the Battle of Nashville the train was attacked and he was shot and taken prisoner by Nathan Bedford Forrest yet again. He also eventually made his way back to his company.  You can read his full story elsewhere on this blog

All told, at least 164 men from Williamson County - and probably more - could have been present at the Battle of Nashville with their US Colored Infantry units.  Forty of their military records specifically contain references to their involvement in the Battle.  Of those men, their records show that 
10 Williamson County men were wounded but survived, seven more were wounded and would ultimately die from their injuries, and two were killed in action.  These were local men - fighting for their freedom, their country, and their future.  It is a remarkable story and one worth remembering.

Maybe Colonel Morgan says it best - although his language is antiquated:  
"I cannot close this paper without expressing the conviction that history has not yet done justice to the share borne by colored soldiers in the war for the Union."
I couldn't agree more.