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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Henry "Dad" Brown -- Confederate Soldier & Veteran Of Three American Wars

Only known photo of Henry "Dad" Brown United Confederate
Veterans (UCV) taken with the  drum and captured drumsticks he
carried during the War Between The States.
(Photograph courtesy of the Darlington (SC) Historical Society)
In Darlington, South Carolina, there is a marker dedicated to Henry "Dad" Brown, a local resident and free person of color who served as a veteran in three American wars: the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the War Between The States/Civil War (1861-1865), and the Spanish-American War (1898)

Brown served as a musician for the 8th & 21st South Carolina regiments where he received payment of $12.00 a month. The Confederate Congress authorized salaries for black musicians in the Confederate military in 1862, it specified that they were to receive the same rate of pay as white army musicians, stating "whenever colored persons are employed as musicians in any regiment or company, they shall be entitled to the same pay now allowed by law to musicians regularly enlisted."

Pay voucher showing Henry Brown receiving $54 dollars for service with
Company F, 8th SC Infantry between January 1 - May 15, 1862.

During the war, Brown served in several battles on the line with the 8th and 21st SC Infantry Regiments -- including the first battle at Manassas (Bull Run) on Sunday, July 21, 1861. It was there that Brown captured a pair of Union drumsticks after his original sticks had been damaged (one account says shot out of his hands) and used them for the remainder of the war.

Muster roll for Henry Brown.

After the war ended, Brown returned to Darlington and became a coroner and later as a loyal Southern Democrat supported former Confederate Lieutenant General Wade Hampton in his bid to be Governor at the end of the Reconstruction Era. As a member of the United Confederate Veterans, Brown attended every convention till his death.

Brown died in 1907 and was laid to rest beside his wife Laura at Cannon Cemetery, a small family cemetery. His funeral was attended by Darlington residents both whites and blacks, as well as the former Confederate Veterans that Brown served with. His casket was covered in a Confederate battle flag and members of the UCV acted as pallbearers.

The following articles mention the life and service of Confederate Veteran Henry "Dad" Brown from those who knew him personally, followed by a news account of his funeral:

Excerpts - The Darlington Press - November 1907
Drummer of Darlington Guards And Well Known And Highly Respected Colored Man 

On Saturday afternoon the old drummer Henry Brown, well known colored man, passed away. ...the Darlington Guards assembled at their armory and marched to the house under arms. There the Captain was requested to detail pall bearers from the ranks, which he did.
When the body was brought out, the company stood at present arms. The line of march was then taken up to the church. ...When the church was reached a representative five number of the white citizens of the town acting as pall bearers took the body into the church the Company again presenting arms.
The colored Masons...took its way to the cemetery where the rest of the masonic ritual was given...the bugler Mr. Angus Gainey sounded "taps" very softly and the Company fired three rounds over the grave. Should the stranger in our gates ask, "What mean ye by this service. Why should white people thus pay honor to a colored man?" The answer would be because he was a man. In life he was faithful to every trust, his word was his bond and not only were his friends numbered among those who live in Darlington but wherever he was known and that was throughout the length and breadth of the State.
The grave was covered with beautiful flowers, the offerings of his friends, both white and colored...
Tribute to Henry Brown From Gen. W.E. James, Who Knew Him Well
On Saturday evening Henry Brown, a most highly respected colored man, died. He had lived a long life and had been one of the land marks of this community, and from his conservative and upright life he had commanded the respect of both white and colored people. ...The Darlington Guards in full uniform with arms marched to his late residence and were placed in front of the hearse...it was determined that a number of white gentlemen should act as pall bearers---should take charge of the body and attend it from his residence to the colored Presbyterian church of which he was a member. Arriving at the church the Guards presented arms and the white pall bearers took it into the church...
Henry Brown came from Camden and had been a free man all his life...When the War broke out Henry Brown went with the Darlington Guards...and remained with that company until the 1st Regiment was disbanded. He then went with the 8th Regiment to Virginia as the drummer for that regiment. He was regularly enlisted in Company E...and he remained with that regiment till its reorganization in 1862, when all above the age of thirty-five were discharged...on the 21st of July '61 the regiment was stationed at Mitchels Ford on the South side of Bull Run. The battle began two miles above and at 12 o'clock the regiment was ordered to go where the battle was raging. As soon as the order came Henry began to beat the long roll. This indicated to a battery on the other side of the Run the position of the regiment and the shells began to fall thick and fast. It was some time before the Colonel could stop him but he was beating all the time regardless of the danger. He followed on to the battlefield and was under fire with the others.
After leaving the 8th regiment he joined Capt. S.H. Wilds' company and remained with the 21st S.C. regiment to the close of the war. 
When...the reconstruction period began...Henry was given the office of Coroner, which he held for a while, but when he saw the injuries that were being done to the white people by those men who were in office, he allied himself with the white people and remained so for the rest of his life. When Camp Darlington No. 785 U.C.V. was organized he had his name enrolled and never missed a reunion...He prided himself on being a Veteran and took great interest in the camp. We shall miss him. He has gone to join the great majority of those who marched to the tap of his drum. But we, too, shall soon follow them.

Story about Henry "Dad" Brown's funeral in Darlington written in the
(Columbia) State newspaper in November 1907.

In 2000, the city of Darlington erected a historical marker near his gravesite honoring his memory. 

SC Historical Marker honoring Confederate Veterans
Henry "Dad" Brown. Located on 204 Brockington Rd.
just off SC Hwy 52 in Darlington, SC.
Cannon Cemetery, Darlington, SC.
The grave of Confederate Veteran Henry Brown.
Note the Confederate Cross of Honor and
US Veteran markers at the foot of the grave.

United Confederate Veterans Reunion Banner.

This post is dedicated to the honored memory of Henry "Dad" Brown, United Confederate Veteran, soldier, and free Southern man, and for all of those regardless of their race, religion, or creed who served with honor in defense of South Carolina and Southern independence (1861-1865). 

Your memory will never be forgotten.

Non Sibi Sed Patriae.
Deo Vindice!

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