Savannah, Georgia: 1st Sgt. Samuel Gordon Morse, 33rd U. S. Colored Infantry

Grave of 1st Sgt. Samuel Gordon Morse, Laurel Grove South Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, December 13, 2014. All rights reserved.

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1st Sgt. Samuel Gordon Morse was born enslaved on July 25, 1832, in Harris Neck, McIntosh County, Georgia. He was the son of Richard Morse, also born enslaved. The family was owned by William H. Bennett (ca. 1824-1884), a prominent planter in McIntosh County, Georgia.1

Beaufort National Cemetery, South Carolina: United States Colored Troops

USCT Beaufort National Cemetery SC
United States Colored Troops, Section 29

Our family paid a visit to Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina, in early December, 2014. While there, I snapped a photo of some of the United States Colored Troops. It was Wreaths Across America Day at the cemetery, and there were hundreds of people present, prepared to pay homage to the fallen by decorating each grave with a wreath. Recently, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History announced they were holding a photo contest of historic sites in the state. I thought “why not?,” and submitted this photo. Surprisingly, it was selected by staff as one of the ten finalists. I didn’t win, though. That honor went to an amazing photo of an old African American school. I’m still tickled my pic made it to the top ten. Thanks so much to the staff of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History! ♦