Sunday, May 30, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF JOHNSON L. TERRY - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

This barber has a unique place in the history of our country. Johnson L. Terry, an African-American living in Reading, PA enlisted in the Union Army on December 19, 1863. He was assigned to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, an all volunteer regiment and, most importantly, one of the first African-American units in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. The unit was organized in March, 1863, only 2 months after President Lincoln had issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry was made famous in the movie, "Glory." Terry was mustered out of the Army as a Full Corporal on August 20, 1865 and returned to Reading after fighting for his nation. I salute him and all members of our Armed Services this day and, especially, all those soldiers who fought for our country and did not return home. Tomorrow I will honor the memory of one such man - a very special man and member of my own family.

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