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Battle Lines, Slavery Divide D.C. Man’s Civil War Ancestry

Battle Lines, Slavery Divide D.C. Man’s Civil War Ancestry
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2011 :: Staff infoZine


Lee Jackson, 60, is a descendent of both a white Confederate and a black Union soldier. He has been researching their participation in the Civil War. SHFWire photo by Rebecca Koenig

By Rebecca Koenig - When he was a ninth grader in Natchez, Miss., Lee Jackson’s American history textbook did not mention slavery.

Washington, D.C. - infoZine - Scripps Howard Foundation Wire - The Civil War, it explained, was caused by a Northern misunderstanding of the Southern way of life. It certainly did not reference the 200,000 African Americans, many of them former slaves, who fought for the Union during the conflict that began 150 years ago. 

It wasn’t until after Jackson, 60, moved away from Mississippi to become a lawyer in Washington that he started talking to his grandmother about his family history and learned that his great-great-grandfather, Buck Murphy, was one of those black Union soldiers. She also told him his great-great-great-grandfather, Jack Murphy, was a white slave owner and Confederate soldier – and Buck’s master. 

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