Thomas Morris Chester
Chester served as a recruiter and helped usher Pennsylvania Black men into the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments. At the end of the war, Chester was serving as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Press, traveling with the Army of the Potomac. Chester created and led two companies of blacks for local defense during the Gettysburg campaign of 1863.
According to the Harrisburg Telegraph, this was the first time Pennsylvania issued weapons to African-Americans. Chester ended the war as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Press, traveling with the Army of the Potomac.
After the war, Chester moved to England where he studied law and was admitted to the bar, perhaps becoming the first black barrister. Returning to the United States, Chester held several posts in Louisiana, including collector of customs, brigadier general of militia and superintendent of schools. Becoming ill in 1892, he returned to Harrisburg and died in his mother’s house at 305 Chestnut Street. Chester is buried in Penbrook’s Lincoln Cemetery.
Erected by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 40° 15.652′ N, 76° 52.837′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and South 3rd Street, on the right when traveling east on Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. T. Morris Chester (here, next to this marker); Kunkel Building (a few steps from this marker); Lochiel Hotel and Colonial Theater (a few steps from this marker); Strawberry Square Phase II (within shouting distance of this marker); Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Dauphin County Courthouses (within shouting distance of this marker); Dauphin Deposit Bank Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 333 Market Street (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
Categories. • African Americans • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 27, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 145 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 27, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.