A Confederate History Minute (13) – by Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.
The Story of Amos Rucker
On August 10, 1905, Amos Rucker, an ex-Confederate soldier and proud member of the United Confederate Veterans, died in Atlanta, Georgia. His friends of the UCV had previously bought a grave site and marker for he and his wife Martha who had limited income. Amos Rucker was one of many thousands of Black Southerners who fought for the South during the War Between the States.
Amos was a servant and best friend to Sandy Rucker. Both men joined the 33rd Georgia Regiment when the South was invaded. Amos fought as a regular soldier and sustained wounds to his breast and one of his legs that left him permanently crippled.
Amos Rucker joined the W.H.T. Walker Camp of the United Confederates after the war in Atlanta, Georgia. He would faithfully attend the meetings that were held on the second Monday of each month at 102 Forsyth Street. He was able to remember the name of every man of his old 33th Regiment and would name them and add whether they were living or dead.
Amos Rucker and wife Martha felt that the men of the United Confederate Veterans were like family. Rucker said that, "My folks gave me everything I want." The UCV men helped Amos and wife Martha with a house on the west side of Atlanta and John M. Slaton helped with his will and care for his wife. Slaton was a member of Atlanta’s John B. Gordon Camp 46 Sons of Confederate Veterans and was governor of Georgia when he commuted the death sentence of Leo Frank.
Funeral services for Amos Rucker was conducted by former Confederate General and Reverend Clement A. Evans. An article about the funeral related that Rucker was clothed in a gray Confederate uniform and a Confederate flag covered his casket. It is written that both white and black friends of Rucker came to pay their last respects. They was not a dry eye in the church when Captain William Harrison read a poem, entitled, "When Rucker called the roll."
A grave marker was placed in 1909 by the United Confederate Veterans that for many years marked the graves of Amos and Martha Rucker but some say it was taken many years ago. Only the caretaker knows where the graves are located.
Information for the story came from the book "Forgotten Confederates- A Anthology about Black Confederates" compiled by Kelly Barrow, J.H. Segars and R.B. Rosenburg."
Copyright © 2003-2011, GeorgiaHeritageCouncil.org