100th US Colored Infantry
Only one man from Williamson County has been identified as serving in the 100th USCI - Private John Dubuisson.
The 100th USCI was organized in Kentucky from May 3 to June 1, 1864. The Regiment provided guard duty on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad in Tennessee until December 1864. Additionally, they were involved in:
a skirmish on the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad September 4, 1864
action at Johnsonville November 4-5, 1864.
the Battle of Nashville, Tenn., December 15-16, 1864.
pursuit of General John Bell Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28, 1864.
and they were again assigned to guard duty on Nashville & Northwestern Railroad from January 16, 1865 until December, 1865.
Following the Battle of Nashville an officer of the 100th USCI surveyed the battlefield and stated,
“The blood of the white and black men has flown freely together for the great cause which is to give freedom, unity, manhood and peace to all men, whatever birth or complexion.”
[The Tennessee Campaign of 1864, Steven E. Woodworth, Charles D Grear, SIU Press, Jan 5, 2016, p. 155; Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers (New York: The Free Press, 1990), 160]
The 100th U.S.C.I. was officially commanded by Col. Reuben D. Mussey, an important USCT recruiter and figure in Tennessee. During the Battle of Nashville, the 100th USCI contributed to the defense of the city. The Regiment lost ten enlisted men killed and 41 men and four officers wounded.
On Dec. 26, 1866, the 100th USCI regiment mustered out in Nashville.
Early Life. Pvt. John Dubuisson was born on August 14, 1825, probably in Mississippi.
Military Service. John Dubuisson enlisted in Company C of the 100th USCI in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sept. 23, 1864. His enlistment records describe him as a 35 year old laborer and “mulatto” (biracial). He was a substitute for a white man who had been drafted. In addition to participating in the regimental action and work, on Nov. 30, 1865, Dubuisson was detailed as a messenger and mail carrier at Headquarters, Camp of Instruction, Benton Barracks, Missouri. On Dec. 26, 1866 Private Dubuisson mustered out of the US Colored Troops along with his regiment in Nashville.
Life in Franklin, Tennessee. Just a month later on Jan 13, 1867, Dubuisson married Elizabeth Johnson in Williamson County, Tennessee. The wedding was solemnized by. E. F. Freeman, a Black school teacher and minister. Dubuisson worked as a carpenter and the couple raised a family in Franklin. On May 3, 1892, Dubuisson filed for an invalid's pension from the federal government based on his military service. Dubuisson died on July 9, 1909 in Franklin, Tennessee. His remains were buried at the historic African-American Toussaint L'Overture Cemetery where he has two headstones - a joint one with his wife Bettie (who died in 1930), and a military one recognizing his service in the 100th US Colored Infantry. Pvt. Dubuison's two sons moved to Little Rock, Arkansas where they were successful businessmen. Dan Dubuisson owned a funeral home and insurance company, as well as the Negro League baseball team, the Dubuisson Tigers. You can read more about Pvt. Dubuisson's legacy here.
Pvt. John Dubuisson obituary
Nashville Globe, July 30, 1909
Regimental and Company Books of the 100th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment
New York Public Library, 100th Regiment, Company I collection
Gilder Lehrman Collection, Orders regarding the 100th United States Colored Infantry's observance of Abraham Lincoln's funeral
Report from R. D. Mussey Colonel 100th, U. S. Colored Infantry to Maj. C.W. Foster, Assistant Adjutant-General, Chief of the Colored Bureau: Detailed account regarding recruitment, military efficiency, and attitude of whites toward colored troops in the Department of the Cumberland.
Reuben D. Mussey papers, Dartmouth Library
THE SELECTION AND PREPARATION OF WHITE OFFICERS FOR THE COMMAND OF BLACK TROOPS IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR: A STUDY OF THE 41ST AND 100TH U.S. COLORED INFANTRY, Paul D. Renard