“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Slave, Soldier, Citizen

Slave, Soldier, Citizen Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 28, 2010
1. Slave, Soldier, Citizen Marker
Inscription. A tombstone can only tell so much about the life of a man. From the shape and standard design of the markers you see ahead, you can tell that two veterans of the United States military lie here in graves just outside of the wall of the Hazen Brigade Monument. But other details and documentation about the lives of William Holland and his grandson William Harlan are missing.

William Holland spent most of his first 30 years in Maury County, Tennessee. He was born in Kentucky. The only records we have about him just document his Civil War military service. No one knows exactly when Holland bought the piece of farmland that includes the grave sites you see.

William Holland started his life in a country where the law said he was only a piece of farm property. When he died some 70 years later, he was - by law - an American citizen and a property owner.

Holland served his country in the 111th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops. All U.S.C.T. soldiers wore the standard Union blue uniforms. No photograph of Sergeant Holland is known to exist.

When the war ended, Sergeant Holland returned to farming - for the next 43 years of his life. Like many other U.S.C.T. veterans, he settled here in a new African American community called Cemetery. Union veteran Albert Kern photographed the Rutherford County farm
Marker and Graves beside the Hazen Monument Enclosure image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 28, 2010
2. Marker and Graves beside the Hazen Monument Enclosure
you see in this exhibit about 30 years after the Civil War.

William Holland's life
- Born on a Todd County, Kentucky farm, exact year unknown

- A slave working on a farm in Maury County, Tennessee until about age 30

- These War Department documents show that William Holland entered the United States Army in 1864.

- Captured during fighting at Athens, Alabama in September 1864, Holland was a prisoner of war for four months.

- Records show Sergeant Holland was honorably discharged in 1866.

- Holland worked here in the National Cemetery

- Applied for and received a veteran's pension in 1897

- Landowner here in Rutherford County, Tennessee until his death in his mid-70s.
Erected by Stones River National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 35° 52.586′ N, 86° 25.635′ W. Marker is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in Rutherford County. Marker is on Old Nashville Highway, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located at tour stop five, the Round Forest, in Stones River National Battlefield Park. Marker is in this post office area: Murfreesboro TN 37129, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hazen's Brigade Monument (a few steps
Graves of William Holland and William Harland image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 28, 2010
3. Graves of William Holland and William Harland
from this marker); Hazen Brigade Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Remembering Sacrifices - in Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); Anchoring the Union Line (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Struggle for Round Forest (about 300 feet away but has been reported missing); Hazen's Artillery (about 300 feet away); Parsons' Batteries Heavily Engaged (approx. 0.2 miles away); Donelson’s Brigade at Murfreesboro (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Murfreesboro.
Also see . . .  The Untold Story of Sgt. William Holland. Article providing additional details of Holland's life and the history of the Stones River cemetery. (Submitted on October 31, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 716 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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