May 25, 2014
Black Confederate Soldier to be honored at ceremony
By Michael Williams
The U.S. Civil War was one of the most misunderstood wars in U.S. history. Few Americans realize that African-Americans served with honor and distinction in both the U.S. Army and the Army of the Confederate States of America. One such African-American Confederate soldier will be honored by the United Sons of the Confederacy on June 7 in Elizabethton. The ceremony will be a dedication of a headstone for Confederate veteran Robert “Bob” Stover.
Stover was the slave of Samuel Murray Stover whose brother, Daniel, was the son-in-law of President Andrew Johnson. Robert Stover was born January 12, 1846 in Carter County, Tennessee.
Robert Stover accompanied his master when he went off to fight for southern independence. Bob served as a teamster. As Robert and Samuel were returning from Virginia, they were captured by the Union army at Fall Branch in March of 1865. They were released at the conclusion of the war a month later. Robert later received a pension from the state of Tennessee for his service to the Confederate Army.
Although they were brothers, Daniel and Samuel served in the opposing armies. Daniel became commanding officer of the 4th Tennessee Infantry Regiment (U.S.A.) while his brother served in the Confederacy.
The military service of both Robert and Samuel will be saluted by Honor Guards of the 4th Tennessee Infantry, U.S.A. and Company F 59th Tennessee Mounted Infantry, C.S.A. following the dedication of Robert’s head stone.
The keynote speaker for the event is H. K. Edgerton, an African-American activist for Southern heritage and an African-American member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Edgerton is a former president of the Asheville, North Carolina chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), he is on the board of the Southern Legal Resource Center.
The dedication will be held at Drake Cemetery on the outskirts of Elizabethton on June 7 at 2 p.m. The ceremony is sponsored by the Lt. Robert J. Tipton Camp #2083, Sons of Confederate Veterans, of Elizabethton. The event is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Parking will be in a large field off Hwy 19E—across from Mills Greenhouse. The cemetery, from this location, can be easily accessed without any special assistance needed for handicapped. [For GPS, use Mills Greenhouse and Landscape, 2755 Hwy 19E, Elizabethton, TN]. The field is across the highway from this location. For additional information, contact Scott Bowers at 423-773-6374 or Bill Hicks at 423-542-6782.