114th US Colored Infantry

The 114th USCT was organized at Camp Nelson, Ky., July 4, 1864. They were at Petersburg, Appomattox, and were at the surrender of General Lee. After the surrender, the Regiment participated in occupation duty along the Rio Grande River in Texas until they were mustered out on April 2, 1867. 

OVERVIEW:  Organized at Camp Nelson, Ky., July 4, 1864. Attached to Military District of Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio, to January, 1865. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 25th Corps, Dept. of Virginia, to April, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 25th Corps and Dept. of Texas, to April, 1867.

SERVICE:  Duty at Camp Nelson and Louisa, Ky., till January, 1865. Ordered to Dept. of Virginia January 3, 1865. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond on the Bermuda Hundred Front till March, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Hatcher's Run March 29-31. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Duty at Petersburg and City Point till June. Moved to Texas June and July. Duty at Brownsville and other points on the Rio Grande, Texas, till April, 1867. Mustered out April 2, 1867.

Pvt. Phillip Moss, Alias Phillip Drawn

Phillip Moss was the only Williamson County man known to have served in the 114th USCI. He was born in Williamson County around 1846. On June 10, 1864, he enlisted in Company B of the 114th in London, Kentucky under the name "Philip Drawn."  His enlistment papers stated that his "owner" was Lewis Drawn from Madison County, Kentucky. Following his enlistment, Pvt. Moss mustered into the US Army at Camp Nelson.

Pvt. Moss was with his regiment throughout the campaign and their time in Texas. He spent some time detached from his unit as a Guard in the Regimental Hospital in Brownsville, TX. He mustered out in  Brazos Santiago, Texas on April 2, 1867 with the 114th. 

Following the War, Pvt. Moss appears to have returned to Kentucky. In 1869, he married Minta Moberly in Madison County, Kentucky. He used the name Philip Moss for the marriage certificate, although he appears to have been known by both names. In the 1880 Federal Census he was listed as Philip Drawn.

By 1900 Pvt. Moss and his wife Minta moved to Richmond, Missouri.  He was working as a coal miner in the Ray County Coal Mines.  They were in their 50s and living alone. At this point he had permanently adopted the last name "Moss." Around this time, his wife Minta appears to have died.

In 1911, Pvt. Moss was admitted to the National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Leavenworth, Kansas. He had chronic heart disease and rheumatism. Pvt. Moss died there on April 28, 1929.  He was 83 years old. His grandson LeRoy (Lee) Moss appears to have arranged for his remains to be buried at the Leavenworth National Cemetery with a USCI headstone. 

Lt. Ludlum C. Drake

White Officer of the 114th US Colored Infantry Described His Time With the Regiment

New uniforms, guns in their hands, and the stamp of the government upon them seemed to give them self respect and consciousness of manhood and power so that the rapidity of the transfiguration was marvelous... they soon made good soldiers.

In January 1865, we went by boat to Parkersburg, Va, then by rail to Baltimore. ... in those days soldiers were transported on flat cars in cattle cars, freight cars and coal cars. For four days and four nights the men rode over the Allegheny mountains in the dead of winter without fire even to make coffee for five days the officers had the same accommodations.


Ice in the harbor shut us up in Baltimore a week or ten days. I found here what I had been looking for five years: Jenkins' Vest Pocket Lexicon. By leaving out all common words, the author was able to compile in vest pocket size about every word one would need to look for. Finally, a channel was cut through the ice. Then off for the Potomac, that historic army so long the pride of the nation: the focus for the eyes of the world, so long too the Theatre of great battles, awful carnage with scanty results. 

We were assigned to the 25th Corp "Weitzels" which held the north bank of the James. Grant was all the time a little uneasy lest Lee should somehow slip out and get away from him. In sight of the enemy's work, we were all winter and spring in line of battle every morning at three-o'clock ready for the execution of Grant's favorite order, "Diversion command, will attack at daylight - the enemy immediately in their front."

I never can forget some exchanged prisoners brought into our lines, as they went stagging by those once strong men with eyes like eagles and serves like steel: men who had stood by Grant in the wilderness and by Thomas at Chickamauga: men who had rode with Sheridan in that wild Hurricane which swept the Shenandoah! Men who had helped Grant take Vicksburg and Sherman capture Atlanta, now slowly and scientifically starved till the marrow had rotted from their bones and the light of reason gone out; Ghostly phantoms belonging to neither this world nor the next; their wasted forms and idiotic features haunt me to this day.

Things moved fast in those days: we had learned war and learned it well; we had formed our generals; our armies were nowhere retreating. The night of April 2, 1865 things came to a facies, all night long the heavens above Petersburg were full of Union shells bursting into Lee's crumbling army.

On the morning of the 3rd came the word "go" which we had been patiently waiting for so many weeks and soon Weitzel's laconic dispatch was telegraphed all over the land: Richmond, Va, April 3rd 8 o'clock am, "Struck oil!"

In six days Appomattox and the end when every volunteer soldier expected to be mustered out - but there was a French Army in Mexico and insamuch as our civil war was the occasion of its being there the government ruled that it was a part of the rebellion and it had the right to hold troops enough to settle that matter. Of course it retained those regiments which had the longest time to serve. 

The military division of the Mississippi was created. Sheridan in command, headquarters at New Orleans. Weitzel with two divisions of the 25th Corp was sent to the Rio Grande while other troops were massed throughout Texas the lower Mississippi Country. Part of our regiment was transported on the C. C. Leary an old screw propeller so worn in that the captain was afraid to use the sails to increase the speed and we were 23 days reaching Brazos. 

Of course all our fresh water had to be carried and stored in anything available. ... We had some such fastidious men with us who preferred water from molasses barrels to that stored in old kerosene and turpentine barrels, but you know that the prime request of a good soldier is a cheerful indifference to the hardships and prevations of a campaign, and most of us were tolerably good soldiers. At Brazos we were within one degree of the Tropics and there was no chill to the air, no shade, nothing green, just clean white sand. Here we had condensed water that had not yet lost its steam heat.

No one there will ever forget the three days march up the river to Brownsville. The melted snows had just got down form the mountains filling the river to overflowing.

The mud and water was all the way from ankle deep to waist deep - pushed up by the tread of six thousand men and their wagons. There was no grit in it - just slime. The two nights we found little knolls dry enough to camp on.

One of my men stumbled and went under - gun, knapsack, haversack and all. As he scrambled up out of that ooze his hair, ears, nose and mouthful of it - his comrade with perfect gravity and fascinating courtesy said, "Keep your seat sir, keep your seat, don't get up for me."


[Private William Wright of Co. H, 114th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) Infantry Regiment, in uniform with book on table] Photograph shows identified soldier who was a former slave of Captain John W. Russell from Franklin, Kentucky, and enlisted with his consent; Wright returned to Russell's employ after the war until his death in 1869; Wright later left Kentucky due to harassment from white supremacists and moved with his family to Iowa. Library of Congress