On Saturday in Monroe, Va., nine enslaved men and one freeman who went to war for the Confederacy and later received state pensions for their service will be honored during a ceremony at the local courthouse. At 2 p.m., near the century-old Confederate monument, a 4-foot-by-28-inch marble plaque with the names of the 10 men will be unveiled.
The memorial reads in part, “In Memory of Union County’s Confederate Pensioners of Color,” and lists their names: Wilson Ashcraft, Ned Byrd, Wary Clyburn, Wyatt Cunningham, George Cureton, Hamp Cuthbertson, Mose Fraser, Lewis McGill, Aaron Perry and Jeff Sanders.
It was paid for by the local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Historians have long argued, and still argue, about whether black men willingly defended the Confederacy as soldiers. In this case, the men listed their positions as body servants when they applied for pensions, according to an earlier news story about the memorial.
Several descendents of the 10 men are expected to attend the ceremony that is open to the public.