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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Nashville Blacks in the Civil War

Yesterday,  someone posted this historical marker to WayMarker.com

I’ve seen this marker in person – a couple of months ago I visited the Adventure Science Center and the marker is passed as you approach the entrance.   The marker commemorates the efforts of blacks during the Civil War and the role they played in helping to build  Fort Negley and their larger role during the Battle of Nashville.  

In his book, African-American History in Nashville, TN: 1780-1930, Bobby Lovett has a whole chapter on the roles and activieties of blacks during the Civil War.   Throughout the chapter Lovett captures quotes from several people involved, including a quote from former slave Nat Love who recollects in his autobiography how slave children wanted to go fight for the Union. 

Doing a little background research on Nat Love, I learned that he was a well-known cowboy an had the nickname of “Deadwood Dick” although he apparently was not the only one with that nickname.   His autobiography is available in its entirety through UNC’s Documenting the American South collection.   Nat was born here in Davidson County in 1854, son of slave Sampson Love.  He and his family were slaves of Robert Love.  Nat has an entry at FindAGrave; I would love to find an obituary for him though – he died in 1921.

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