A couple of days ago I posted about Peter Vertrees, a free man of color who entered the Confederate army with his uncle. What I didn’t tell you is his daughters were what we call “REAL DAUGHTERS” or, first generation daughters of a Confederate soldier, and members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the Tennessee Division. This fact blows the stupid lies of outsiders and newcomers out of the water. The UDC is not now, and never has been, a white supremacist organization. That is a damnable lie.
First person accounts are priceless for obvious reasons. Here’s one from Peter’s journal:
“The four years I spent in the Confederate army gave me a vision of the future which I could not have gotten otherwise….These days of conflict made lasting impressions on my mind. Nor can I forget Shiloh and Vicksburg.
While in Vicksburg one day I thought about how nice a mess of fresh river fish would be, so I got on a grey horse and went down to the Mississippi River to fish. I had not been there long before I heard a humming sound over my head. The sound came the second time. I stopped and looked away down the river and saw a Federal gunboat which leaned to one side and smoke rose from it, and I heard the same humming sound and I knew that they had seen my grey horse and were shooting at me. Hurriedly I gathered up my belongings and made it back to camp. I never attempted to go fishing any more riding on a grey horse, in fact I believe that was my last time to ride a grey horse anywhere…
I was never a soldier on the firing line but these scenes brought the real activities of war to my view and made me realize what the real combat was. I suffered the same deprivations of warfare that the soldiers felt. Sometimes I was hungry, sometimes cold, sometimes drenched with rain, sometimes tired and footsore from walking but I stayed at my post until the end.”
“Autobiography of Peter Vertrees” is in the Folklife Archives at both Western Kentucky University Libraries.
Peter’s daughter, Mrs. Lilllie H Vertrees Odom of Gallatin, TN had the original manuscript in his handwriting. A book written by Mary Schaller in 2001 entitled, “Papa Was a Boy in Gray-Memories of Confederate Veterans Related by Their Daughters” includes information on Peter Vertrees by his daughters, Mrs. Bertha Vertrees Griffin and Mrs. Lillie Vertrees Odom, and contains photographs of both of his daughters. This book is housed at the library at the UDC headquarters.
Something you might find interesting is Mrs. Griffin was interviewed by the author of this book and asked if she had anything else she wanted to say for posterity. Her answer was, and I quote, “Seminars need to be held to inform the young African-Americans that ninety percent of Confederate soldiers were not fighting to preserve slavery.” These dear ladies were also related to Patrick Henry on Peter’s mother’s side of their family.
Web Source: Truths Of History shared post to H.K. Edgerton’s Supporters Facebook Page
August 8, 2019