Striking Gold with Freedmen’s Bureau Records

On 3 March 1865, Congress established the Freedmen’s Bureau, formally known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, to help millions of freed African Americans and poor whites in the South and the District of Columbia in the aftermath of the Civil War. The Union’s win of the Civil War had emancipated over …

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Honoring the Slain Black Milliken’s Bend Soldiers Who Made A Huge Difference

Earlier this year, as my father, oldest sister, nephew, and I toured the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, we conversed about the participation of my father’s great-grandfather, John “Jack” Bass of Warren County (Vicksburg), Mississippi, in the Civil War. I had confirmed that he served with the 49th Regiment, formerly the 11th Louisiana Infantry, of …

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Veterans Day Tribute: Honoring My Look-Alike and Others’ Service in World War I

When I first posted this picture of my great-uncles, John Wesley Davis and Jessie Franklin Davis of Panola County, Mississippi, a number of people, including family members, remarked that I bear a strong resemblance to Uncle John Wesley. I see some resemblance, but I wasn’t surprised by their observation. I am known to bear a …

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