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Asheville in Buncombe County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery

“Ready to Take the Field”

 
 
1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 19, 2012
1. 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker
Inscription. Gen. Davis Tillson raised 1,700-man 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery in Tennessee and North Carolina in 1864. The unit encamped nearby while garrisoned in Asheville in 1865. Assigned to Tillson's 2nd brigade, the men participated in operations in Tennessee and Alabama and joined Gen. George Stoneman in Virginia and North Carolina in 1865. Stoneman reported that the unit had 1,100 men "ready to take the field."
On April 27, 1865, Tillson wrote, "The ... First U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery ... were moved toward Asheville, N.C. ... arriving there on [April] 30th."
To Many white Southerners, the appearance of African American soldiers symbolized defeat. Local resident Forster A. Sondley wrote, "Negro sentinels were placed at the approaches to the town in order that no insult might be spared to devoted people." Sarah Bailey Cain recalled, " We passed through an immense crowd of ... privates and insolent Negroes in U.S. uniforms. One of the Negroes called out to my father 'How do you like this, old man?'"
Tillson (picture included) accepted the surrender of Confederate Col. William M. Bradford and his troops at Asheville on May 6. The 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery stayed in the area until May 18, then served in Tennessee until mustered out on March 31, 1866. After the war, Tillson oversaw the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen
1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker Map image. Click for full size.
By 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, `
2. 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker Map
and Abandonned Lands (the Freedmen's Bureau) in Tennessee and Georgia.

(Side note included)
Four soldiers of the 1st Colored Heavy Artillery were executed nearby on May 6, 1865. The next day, Col. Chauncey G. Hawley reported that the men "who committed the rape, except one witness, four in number, were shot yesterday, before the whole regiment." Gen. Davis Tillson wrote that they "stole out of camp on the march to Asheville and committed a brutal rape of the person of a young white woman, after nearly killing her uncle and aunt, two very old people, who tried to prevent the outrage. I am much gratified that they have been found and shot." The execution and burial of Pvts. Alfred Catlett, Alexander Colwell, Washington Jackson, and Charles Turner of Co. E took place at the present day junction of Broadway with Mt. Clare Avenue and Chestnut Street (Five Points). About 1900, workers on Mt Clare Avenue uncovered their graves. They were reburied nearby, but the location is not known.
 
Erected by North Carolina Department of Transportation, North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 36.22′ N, 82° 33.457′ W. Marker is in Asheville, North
"Come and join us brothers" image. Click for full size.
By 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, `
3. "Come and join us brothers"
Carolina, in Buncombe County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway and Mt. Clare Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Broadway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Asheville NC 28801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Locke Craig (within shouting distance of this marker); Riverside Cemetery (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jeter C. Pritchard (approx. mile away); Kiffin Y. Rockwell (approx. 0.3 miles away); Wartime Jail (approx. half a mile away); Historic Hilltop (approx. half a mile away); Battery Porter (approx. half a mile away); Thomas Wolfe House / Dixieland (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Asheville.
 
Regarding 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. 1st Regiment Heavy Artillery

Organized at Knoxville, Tenn., February 20, 1864. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Corps, Dept. of Ohio, to February, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to March, 1865. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, to March. 1866.
SERVICE.--Duty at Knoxville, Tenn., until January, 1865. Operations against Wheeler in East Tennessee August 15-25, 1864. Operations in Northern Alabama and East Tennessee January 31-April 24, 1865. Stoneman's operations from East Tennessee
Heavy Artillery like this... image. Click for full size.
1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, Library of Congress, `
4. Heavy Artillery like this...
into Southwestern Virginia and Western North Carolina February to April. At Greenville and in District of East Tennessee until March, 1866. Mustered out March 31, 1866. (Union Regimental Histories, Source - "A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion" by Frederick H. Dyer Part 3)
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
 
1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker image. Click for full size.
1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, Library of Congress, `
5. 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker
1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, looking north along Broadway image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 19, 2012
6. 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, looking north along Broadway
1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, Broadway and Mt Clare intersection image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 19, 2012
7. 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Marker, Broadway and Mt Clare intersection
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 22, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 891 times since then and 94 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 25, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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