Company H, “Independent Volunteers” – 57th Georgia Infantry

This is one of my favorite photos. The men are from left to right: First Lieutenant Archibald C. McKinley, Captain John Richard Bonner, Scott (who was Lt McKinley’s servant), and Second Lieutenant William S. Stetson. These men were officers of Company H “Independent Volunteers,” 57th Georgia Infantry.

You might find it interesting to know what Lt. McKinley said about the death of his friend and servant, Scott. This is from Lt McKinley’s journal dated April 17, 1870:

“During the afternoon I received news of the very sudden death of my former faithful slave, Scott. He died about 1:00 today, apparently in perfect health. After eating very largely during the morning, he smoked his pipe, and laid down on his bed to take a nap. In a few minutes he had a spasm and died in a few minutes more, without speaking. Poor fellow…

He followed me into the Army as a camp servant in October, 1861 and remained with me, true as steel, until May, 1865 and the end of the war.

He followed me through Bragg’s Kentucky Campaign, and was with me at the Battle of Baker’s Creek, during the siege and surrender of Vicksburg, crying when he heard it reported that I had been killed at the above mentioned battle, but finding I was only wounded, nursed me with the greatest care and tenderness until I recovered. When Vicksburg fell he followed me back into Confederate lines, in spite of Yankee threats and promises of freedom and good situations, being true and faithful to me and the cause… until the day of his death. I am proud to record the fact that he was liked and befriended by all his true southern white acquaintances, and his death lamented by all of them. After the war, in consideration of his good conduct, and his attachment to me, my father gave him a house and twenty acres of land for the rest of his life, and he was cultivating the land industrially.”

I told y’all, no REAL Confederate Southerner had any ill will or feelings for Black persons or persons of color. Only with the children of illegal invaders was there any ill will in the South for non-white persons. There may have been occasional issues but that is a heart issue, not a racial one.

I will also reiterate, outside of Nat Turner or occasional squabbles between human beings, there were no racial problems in the South that I can find prior to Lincoln’s illegal war.

Photo and journal entry are from the James Bonner Collection, GC&SU Library Archives.

Web Source:
“Black Confederates And Other Minorities In The War Of Northern Aggression” Facebook Group
Post by Lani Burnette Rinkel – 10/23/2017