Payne AME Church
Cemetery in Canonsburg
written by Gina Nestor
There are 21 black Civil War soldiers buried at the Payne AME Church
Cemetery in Canonsburg. This is the article I wrote for the Canonsburg
Bicentennial Book (soon to be released). I did some research into their
companies and regiments but I am not done yet.
United States Colored Troops
In late August 1862, the War Department in a radical policy shift,
officially sanctioned the recruitment of blacks with a policy statement:
"All slaves admitted into military service, together with their wives and
children, are declared forever free." After the official issuance of the
Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, a vehicle was set into motion
that allowed the establishment of regiments with black enlistees and white
officers. The edict was only directed to the states that had seceded and
very few slaves were voluntarily freed. As far as the Confederacy was
concerned the Proclamation was not worth the paper it was written on.
However, thousand of slaves were freed by the invading Union forces and many
others escaped into the Union lines. In a drastic reversal of position,
President Lincoln and the War Department sanctioned and allowed the
Governors of the northern free states and the military commanders in the
south to organize and muster into federal service able blacks within their
jurisdictions. The following 21 men of color from Canonsburg answered the
United States Colored Troops Buried at Payne A.M.E. Cemetery in Canonsburg:
Asbury, Samuel D. - died 1910 - Co. I, 32nd Inf. U.S.C.T.
Bryant, Joseph - died 1909
Burgess, Jeremiah - died 1926
Burgess, Jonathan - died 1901
Butcher, E. L.
Dungee, Samuel - died 1911
Durham, George Washington - died April 7, 1915 - Co. A, 6th U.S.C.T.
Hayden, Paul E. - died 1897
Kennedy, Richard - died 1911
Lotterbury, Abraham - died June 1, 1913 - Co. H, 43rd U.S.C.T.
Morgan, John - died 1907
Norman, J. E. - died 1912
Poole, Abraham - died 1901 - Co. D, 32nd Inf. U.S.C.T.
Randolf, Aaron - died 1907
Rutherford, John B. - died 1923
Sluby, J. B.
Taylor, G. W.
Taylor, C. N.
Titus, J. W.
Vactor, George - died 1919