Another minority in Early’s Division
In a recent entry in this blog, I discussed Charles Lutz, one of the few black soldiers enlisted in the ranks of the Louisiana Tigers. The ranks of that brigade were filled with European immigrants (Scandinavia, France, Germany, and particularly Ireland), Caribbeans, Creoles, and natives of other U.S. states. Few were born in Louisiana.
By sharp contrast, the ranks of John Gordon’s brigade were nearly all native-born Georgians. Several were not Caucasians, however, including Sam Jackson.
Georgia, at the time of the Civil War, still contained a significant number of Native Americans, particularly in the rural areas. Private Samuel Jackson hailed from Pulaski County, an area that had been inhabited by the Creek Confederacy and by Cherokees. A full-blooded Cherokee, Jackson had enlisted in Company F of the 31st Georgia Volunteer Infantry at the outbreak of the war. He marched through York in Gordon’s military parade on Sunday morning, June 28, 1863. During the skirmish of Wrightsville, his company, the Pulaski Blues, was deployed into a long skirmish line perpendicular to what is now Route 462, the Lincoln Highway. They snapped off shots at the Union 27th Pennsylvania Militia before storming the earthworks only to find that the Yankees had withdrawn into Lancaster County across the Columbia Bridge.
On July 1, Gordon’s Brigade attacked Barlow’s Division of the Union XI Corps north of Gettysburg on Blocher’s Knoll. Sam Jackson was killed in action and buried on the battlefield, the only known American Indian who perished at Gettysburg. His body was likely dug up and the bones sent to the South in the 1878-79 time frame.
In future installments, I will give brief biographies of other Confederate and Union visitors to York County.