The 158th Anniversary of the 135th Colored Troop was recognized in Goldsboro with a special historical marker near the Hub in Goldsboro this morning. Mayor David Ham, Rep. John Bell and several decedents of the troops were at the unveiling.
Elizabeth Martin Meggett spoke for the descendants who were in attendance, encouraging the croud to appreciate the struggles of former slaves who became soldiers.
Mayor Ham read the following proclamation:
135th US COLORED TROOP (USCT) 158th BIRTHDAY PROCLAMATION
WHEREAS, the 135th USCT was formed in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on March 27, 1865 from men
who previously served in the Pioneer Corps, and were part of General William T. Sherman’s Army; and
WHEREAS, prior to their taking the oath of service in Goldsboro, they had been recruited into the
Pioneer Corps during Sherman’s march through Georgia and the Carolina’s; and
WHEREAS, the Pioneer Corps worked tirelessly through the winter of 1864 and spring of 1865 to
move General Sherman’s Army, corduroyed roads, to get them through the swamps and building
bridges, to cross the rivers of Georgia and South and North Carolina. They had to work day and night to
make sure that the over 2,500 wagons and the 60,000-man Army of General Sherman were able to
rapidly advance in an effort to help bring the Civil War to an end; and
WHEREAS, enlisted at Goldsboro, the men of the 135th USCT were commanded by Colonel John E.
Gurley, and were given their United States Army Blue Uniforms, with the famous brass buttons with the
freedom eagle on the face; and
WHEREAS, upon leaving Goldsboro, the 135th USCT marched as part of General Sherman’s Army,
to Raleigh, NC and then up to Virginia; and
WHEREAS, one of their proudest moments was when the men of 135th United States Colored
Troop, marched with General William T. Sherman’s Army, in the Grand Review at Washington DC, on
May 24, 1865; and
WHEREAS, following a brief time in Washington, DC, and performing Guard Duty at Fort Kearney,
in the defense of the capital, the 135th USCT were transported by train and then by boat to Louisville,
Kentucky. While at Louisville, they performed more guard duty until they were mustered out of service
on October 23, 1865.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Goldsboro City Council does hereby recognize
March 27, 2023 as the 135th USCT’s 158th Birthday and encourage all citizens to recognize the efforts of these brave men that fought for our country.