Quotes from Peter Vertrees’ typescripted autobiography, housed in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of Library Special Collections, were recently included in an article titled ‘”I Stayed at My Post Until the End’: Peter Vertrees: Black Confederate and Celebrated Church and Community Leader,” in the UDC Magazine. Published by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the magazine is distributed to the organization’s 18,000+ members. The article by Elaine Clonts Russell relies heavily on the autobiography, but is supplemented by other research. During the Civil War Vertrees served as a cook in the 6th Kentucky Regiment. “I never was a soldier on the firing line,” said Vertrees, “but these scenes brought the real activities of war to my view and made me realize what the real combat was. I suffered the same deprivations of warfare that the soldiers felt. Sometimes I was hungry, sometimes cold, sometimes drenched with rain, sometimes tired and footsore from walking, but I stayed at my post until the end.”
After the war Vertrees became a minister and was involved in civic affairs. A Tennessee state historical marker recognizes his contributions and can be found on South Water Street (Highway 109) in Gallatin, Tennessee. The finding aid to the Vertrees Collection can be found by clicking here. To search for other collections about the Civil War or African Americans see TopSCHOLAR.