Last night I was online googling--using google-- searching for information about Walker and James' regimental history as Colored Troops in the United States military. It seemed like I looked at--well, at least type a multitude- of titles trying to find out more about their serivce. I have their penisons--James' pension is really brief because he was killed-- which tells me little about the actual battles in which they participated. Even though Walker's pension is ninety-eight pages long, it was mostly about his lawyer filing the claim for the pensions, Walker's medical history and getting witnesses to swear that Walker was Walker GOINS, that he was in the Civil War and they knew him. It seemed like a never ending process just like the genelogical experience. One thing leads to another. One name leads to another; there are so many questions and ancestors and so little time.
While I was looking (typing) these titles into the google machine, I came up with some interesting titles and read some of the journals and a few pages of the books they have digitized. I think that is one of the greatest uses of the Internet. I read a few pages from a journal which gave me the lowdown on the "Black Laws" of Ohio. They seemed as restrictive as some of the Southern States. I didn't know that black and people of color could not go to school in Ohio prior to the Civil War? But they found ways around it. There was also that rule which disallowed black and people of color to testify against a white person in a court of law. I thought Ohio was a little more "liberal" but I guess I was under the wrong impression? But then again, I remember reading Howard Zinn's "The People's History of the United States" and a quote stands out from a newspaper in Zanesville. It was about the treatment of blacks as they prepared to go off to battle. I am still looking for the article in that very newspaper.
I am looking for more information about Walker and James' tour of duty in the Civil War for a few reasons. First I want to add more detail to what I already tried to write. Secondly, I think I am starting to enjoy learning more about Civil War. I especially like learning about how the railroads were used as weapons and both sides played spied games with each and of course against each other. I wonder what, if any role Walker and his brother played on the Tennessee front? I believe Walker's regiment had to guard and James was a laborer on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. It was ironic that the two major cities on this rail line were in Kentucky, a border state and Tennessee a Confederate State. From what little I read, it seems like it was popular train to catch. Lastly, I want leave a record in time so that my family will have the opportunity to know that they had a relative who fought for us, so that we might be free.
After reading Walker's pension, I did catch the name Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Stone River. I will have to do more research to find out what happen when he was there.