From Carter’s Mountain to Morganza Bend: A U.S.C.T. Odyssey (Part III) by Elizabeth R. Varon

Note:  This is the last installment of a three-part blog post on the Virginia roots of U.S.C.T. soldiers in Missouri regiments.

Part III:  The War’s Aftermath

In the aftermath of the Civil War, as John Coles Carter and the U.S.C.T. veterans from Albemarle County, Virginia returned to Missouri, slavery and secession were dead letters but the “chattel principle”—the idea that slaves were property whose bodies carried a price—was not.  In keeping with two acts of Congress (in 1864 and 1866) that allowed loyal slave owners to file a claim against the U.S. government for the loss of a slave’s value, John Coles Carter, his son John Carter Jr., and their relative John W. Bankhead all filed claims in January of 1867, asking for $300 compensation for each slave who enlisted, including those who had perished in the war, to whom they had once held title.  John Coles Carter demanded compensation for Robert Jackson, Abner Watson, Winston Jackson, Spencer Scott, William Tucker, and Lewis, Warner, Daniel, Jacob, Mathew, and William J. Carter; Bankhead filed claims for Charles and George Bankhead; and John Carter Jr. requested compensation for Jackson and Liberty Carter. (No such claims have come to light for Thomas Brown, William J. Carter, or George Scott.)

The full article can be viewed on the John L. Nau II Center for Civil War History blog.