African-American Confederate Soldier Honored
The local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Soldiers has marked the grave of
an African-American soldier who fought for the Confederacy more than 140 years
Amos Rucker, a former slave who fought for the South, was laid to rest after
his death in 1905, but the grave was never marked, Confederate historians say.
“It is no difference if he was white or black. All I see is that he wore
gray. These men left their homes and their families for four years to fight
and many of them did not return,” said Kelly Barrow, author of “Black
Soldiers in Confederate Armies.”
Rucker’s tombstone , in the South View Cemetery on Jonesboro Road, has
Rucker’s name printed on it along with the words “Confederate Soldier”
and a Confederate flag.
“He was buried in 1905, but he didn’t have a headstone,”
said Brigade Commander Sparks Ramey of the Sons of Confederate Soldiers.
According to Curtis Harris of the Herndo Heritage Museum in Florida, Rucker
served in the 33rd Georgia infantry. He served as a combat soldier until severe
wounds to his leg left him permanently crippled, Harris said.
“We found where he had been buried and had a dedication service,”
Ramey said when visitors arrived to the 11 a.m. ceremony, the new tombstone
was covered by the Confederate flag. After a 21-gun salute, the tombstone was
Ramey said the number of African Americans who fought for the Confederacy is
“I have seen books that say there were up to 90,000,” said Ramey.
“I don’t know if it was that high, but in the National Archives
you can find quite a few. There were a lot more than most people think there
Barrow said it was difficult to tell how many blacks served the Confederate
Army because many of them served in a support role and not on the front line.
Barrow said Rucker was born a slave, but still served in the war after his owner
died and Rucker was a free man.
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