Portsmouth, Virginia: Finding Olivia of Lincolnsville

Map of Lincolnsville, Portsmouth, Virginia, ca. 1889. Norfolk Public Library, March 15, 2012.

The first time I came across the name Olivia Jordan Butt Smith, my paternal great-great-grandaunt, was twelve years ago. I was researching a branch on the paternal side of my family tree, the Youngs of Portsmouth, Virginia. Olivia was born in 1862, in Portsmouth, the daughter of Jordan and Lovey Butt (ca. 1829-1895). She was the sister of Mary Alice Butt Young (1865-1929), my paternal great-great-grandmother, Matilda A. Butt Colden (1856-1910), Anna Butt Schofield (b, ca. 1855), and Nancy Ellen Butt Lynch (ca. 1848-1879), my paternal great-great-grandaunts.

In Their Own Words: Pvt. Samuel Dyes, 36th U. S. Colored Infantry, Portsmouth, Virginia

Copyright 2010 Nadia K. Orton
Photo: Nadia K. Orton, October 25, 2010. Mount Calvary Cemetery (Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex)

Pvt. Samuel Dyes, of Company G, 36th Regiment, U. S. Colored Infantry, was born enslaved about 1835 on St. Julian’s Creek, Norfolk County, Virginia, the son of James and Rosetta Dyes.1 He enlisted at the age of twenty-eight, on December 9, 1863, at Portsmouth, Virginia, and mustered in a few weeks later at Norfolk, on December 28, 1863. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as five feet, seven and a half inches tall, with a “dark” complexion, eyes and hair. As Samuel enlisted on December 9th, 1863, he was not a part of General Edward Wild’s famed expedition to North Carolina, but did engage in the Battle of New Market Heights (Deep Bottom), September 29, 1864.

In Their Own Words: Pvt. John E. Deans, 2nd U. S. Colored Cavalry

African American Civil War Monument DC Copyright 2017 Nadia Orton
African American Civil War Memorial. Washington, D. C. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, August 5, 2017

© Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, 2014-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, links, and photos may not be used without prior written permission from Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History. If granted, full and clear credit shall be given to Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. See: https://info.legalzoom.com/happens-break-copyright-laws-20309.html


John E. Deans, of Company A, 2nd U. S. Colored Cavalry, was born about 1845 near Murfreesboro, Hertford County, North Carolina. He enlisted at the (stated) age of eighteen on December 22, 1863, at Yorktown, Virginia, and mustered into service on the same day at Fort Monroe, Virginia. At the time of enlistment, he was described as five feet, six inches tall, with dark eyes, black hair, and a “yellow” complexion. John was appointed bugler on January 16, 1865. He mustered out of service on February 12, 1866, at Brazos Santiago, Texas.

New Orleans, Louisiana: Cpl. John Pierce (ca. 1843-1936), 4th U. S. Colored Cavalry

Cpl. John Pierce, 4th Regiment, U. S. Colored Cavalry, Date unknown

© Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, 2014-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, links, and photos may not be used without prior written permission from Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History. If granted, full and clear credit shall be given to Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. See: https://info.legalzoom.com/happens-break-copyright-laws-20309.html

Mr. John Pierce of New Orleans, La., who was 93 years of age, died at his residence, 1658 N. Johnson Street, on March 17. Mr. Pierce was a young man at the time of the war between the states and was very anxious to do his part to help give his people freedom. Having this as the main reason in mind he enlisted in the army of his own accord. He served from 1861 to 1865 as corporal of captain E. W. Bauges camp E Fourth Regiment.