I remember watching the Who Do You Think You Are episode featuring Spike Lee. It was discovered that one of Spike Lee’s ancestors worked at a gun factory making guns to supply the Confederacy. Spike spoke of the conflict his ancestor must have had making guns to supply the Confederates who wished to keep his people enslaved. What about those African-Americans who served as soldiers?

I wrote about Louis Napoleon Nelson on this blog before. He is perhaps the most known African-American Confederate soldier from the West Tennessee area. He was very proud to have participated as a part of the Confederacy, even attending Confederate reunions in his full uniform. But what about the other African-American Confederate soldiers? Were they just as proud or did they feel conflicted? Below is a list of Confederate soldiers who applied for a Confederate Soldiers Pension while living in Lauderdale County, TN. In the coming weeks I hope to post information on the soldiers who applied for this pension while living in Haywood and Tipton counties as well.

E.D. Hawthorne –  Born in Haywood County TN in 1849. Claimed service with the 7th TN Cav. Co. L; Application accepted

James Maclin –  Born in Tipton County in 1840; Claimed service with the 7th Tenn Cav Co B; application accepted.

Louis Napoleon Nelson –  Born in Lauderdale County; Claimed Service with the 7th Tenn Cav Co M. Application accepted

Henry Read – Born in Haywood County TN in 1847. Claimed service with the 7th ten cav. Co. M. Application accepted

Wade Watkins –  Born in Haywood County TN. Claimed service with the 48th Tenn Cav. Application accepted

Nowell, Smith  – Born in Louisiana about 1847; claimed service with the 7th Tenn. Cav. Co. L; application accepted.


– Index to Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications by Samuel Sistler (Nashville, TN, Sistler & Assoc., 1994)

– Tennessee Colored Pension Applications for CSA Service – http://www.angelfire.com/wi/Carver/csaaa.html

– Tiffany