Hannah Barnes-Thompson and eldest granddaughter Mary, early 1900's. Wife of Benjamin Thompson
Recently I've been working on tracking down my great-great grandparents Benjamin and Hannah Thompson. These are the relatives that I can go back the furtherest on my mother's paternal lineage. Oral history of our family tells of Benjamin Thompson who was 'captured over the seas' and brought to America and who also fought in the Civil War. I've used Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org extensively in an attempt to find any information about Benjamin Thompson before 1880. I didn't have much luck, just a census record here and there.
Today, I was querying online about Benjamin Thompson's Civil War records because I needed assistance with tracking him down in order to get additional information. A genealogical guru, A. Thomas, pointed me in the right direction. He referred me to a Civil War site maintained by the National Park Service. I was able to find not only my great great grandfather Benjamin Thompson, I also located vital information about the unit he fought in and where they were located.
Here is an excerpt on the 82nd Regiment US Colored Infantry which Benjamin Thompson was assigned to during the Civil War, from the National Park Service website:
82nd Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
Organized April 4, 1864, from 10th Corps de Afrique Infantry. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Corps de Afrique, Dept. of the Gulf, to July, 1864. Consolidated with 80th United States Colored Troops July 6, 1864, to form new 79th United States Colored Troops. Reorganized July, 1864, by consolidation of 97th and 99th United States Colored Troops. Attached to Pensacola, Fla., District of West Florida Dept. of the Gulf, to October, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, United States Colored Troops, Dept. of the Gulf, to October, 1864. 1st Brigade, District of West Florida, to January, 1865. 3rd Brigade, District of West Florida, to March, 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of West Florida,, to May, 1865. Pensacola, Fla., District of West Florida and Dept. of Florida, to muster out.
SERVICE.- Duty at Port Hudson, La., till April 17, 1864. Moved to Fort Barrancas, Fla., and duty there till March, 1865. Expedition toward Pollard, Ala., July 21-25, 1864. Camp Gonzales, Fla., July 22. Near Pollard, Ala., July 23. Expedtion from Fort Barrancas August 15-19. Expedition to Marianna September 18-October 4. Euchee Anna Court House September 23. Marianna September 27. Expedition up Blackwater Bay October 25-28. Near Milton October 26. Expedition to Pollard, Ala., December 13-19. Mitchell's Creek December 15-16. Pine Barren Ford, December 17-18. March from Pensacola to Blakely, Ala., March 20-April 1, 1865. Siege of Fort Blakely April 1-9. Assault and capture of Fort Blakely April 9. Occupation of Mobile April 12. March to Montgomery April 13-25. Duty there till May. Moved to Mobile, thence to Barrancas, Fla., May 23. Expedition to Appalachicola May 31-June 6. Duty at Appalachicola and in District of Florida till September, 1866. Mustered out September 10, 1866.
What makes this extra special to me is that in 2007, while attending another family branch's reunion, my family and I were able to go to the African-American Civil War Memorial in the Shaw district of Washington D.C. Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to look for Benjamin Thompson on the plaque. However today I was also able to locate this tidbit of information:
African American Civil War Memorial
Displayed as: Benjamin Thompson
Plaque Number: C-89
So there it is... my great-great grandfather, Benjamin Thompson Civil War veteran. I still have many more unanswered questions about Benjamin Thompson. When was he actually born? How did he in fact come to America? Or was he born here? Where is he buried? (Some say in the Natchez Veteran's Cemetery on the Bluff, a rumor I will definitely have to confirm) Who was his enslaver?
When and if I get those answers, you will be the first to know!