Madison’s Voice - A USCT Soldier’s Story
Long, complicated stories of Civil War history put many folks to sleep. After all, it was 150 years ago - five or six generations ago! Even if you had an ancestor who lived or fought in the Conflict between the States, many of their stories and legacies died with their grandchildren - YOUR grandparents or great-great grandma! BUT WAIT! The stories are still here and can be told again, with a little research and an appreciative audience!
This month’s column about the stories of African Americans from Southeast Missouri in the Civil War era is less about the general story and more about a single brave soldier’s story. We will take a closer look at Madison Frederick Ross from Commerce.
Madison was an enslaved farmer, bound to his owner James Ross, in Scott County, Missouri. He says of his childhood, “There was about 600 acres in the home place and a hundred acres in the other farm. Old Master had 25 or 30 slaves and we had eight cabins built on three sides of a square and the big house on the other side. It was a big house, white with porches upstairs and down. They was lots a fruit trees around the house - peaches, plums, pears, apples and they was hollyhocks growing all around the yard.” Madison also describes his cabin, the big feather beds, gathering goose eggs, his childhood impression of his Master, baking corn pone, and his chores.
In June, 1863, Madison was 19 years old. Of that time, he says, “When the War came on, we heard lots about it and sometimes we’d see soldiers.” He tells about General (Read More)