Rest in Peace Private Lewis Powell, 30th US Colored Infantry

In July 2019 after a week researching USCT pensions at the National Archives, I spent a Saturday morning at the Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia. The heat was unbearable even at 7:30 a.m., and the sunscreen in my eyes had me frustrated. But I reminded myself to remember where I was and just how much the men there had suffered and sacrificed for our nation.

Headstone of Lewis Powell, 30th US Colored Troops, at Hampton National Cemetery
Photograph by author

Men like Lewis Powell, buried in Hampton Section E. In the spring of 1864, the 30-year-old laborer enrolled in Frederick, Maryland, as a drafted soldier.  On June 14, Powell mustered into Company A, 30th United States Colored Infantry, for a three-year term.… Read more