USCT PENSION FILESHonoring those who served
The United States Colored Troops
As Bernice Bennett notes in her article USCT Pension Files: A Rich Resource for African American Genealogy, pension files can reveal many biographical details about ancestors who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT). Because events in USCT veterans’ lives before the Civil War were seldom recorded in the documentary record, veterans had to go to great lengths to prove their identity, their service in the Civil War, their dates of marriage, names and ages of children, and other biographical details that had to be documented in order for them to draw a military pension.
This frequently meant gathering the testimony of others who witnessed their marriage, the death of a spouse, the births of their children or other life events. Veterans often relied upon the testimony of others who served in the same regiment and company to help them prove their identity and service.
The testimony of supporting witnesses revealed much about the military veteran applying for a pension. Along the way, witnesses also revealed a lot about their own lives and families.
Here, we gather the pension files that tell the stories of those who served in the United States Colored Troops.
We are profoundly grateful to our advisory board members Bernice Bennett and Angela Y. Walton Raji for their guidance at every phase of this project. No words are sufficient to thank our incredible volunteer Alana Thevenet, who has carefully abstracted all of the pension files in this collection.
Documenting Ancestors Who Served
in the United States Colored Troops (USCT)
View USCT Pension Files
The table below is searchable.
There are 100 full pension files here. You may choose how many rows to display on each page.
To view a file, please click on VIEW FILE in the far right column
|Name||Co. and Regt.||Residence||Spouse||Children||Former Enslaver||Plantation or Location||File|
|Aiken, Jack||G 34th||Beaufort, SC||William Middleton||Newport Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Ancrum, Aaron||G 34th||Beaufort, SC||Sallie||Kirkland, then Josua Nichols (Joshua Nichols married widow of Wm. Kirkland)||Rose Hill Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Bailey, Benjamin||K 103rd||Enterprise, Charleston County, SC||Nannie||Mr. Ragsmith? (no such name in census, may be William Wragg Smith)||VIEW FILE|
|Bailey, Pompey||F 34th||St. Helena, Beaufort, SC||Jane||Possibly Thomas B. Chaplin||St. Helena Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Baynard, Carolina||G 2nd USCLA||Hilton Head, SC||Sarah Kirk||William E. Baynard||Bluffton or Hilton Head, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Binford, Charles||A 33rd||Beaufort, SC||Molsey||Clemon Sams||Dataw Island, then Ladies Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Binyard, Adam||D 34th||Beaufort, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Binyard, Harry||E 33rd||Savannah, GA||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Blake, Corbner||F 34th||Seabrook, Beaufort County, SC||Julia||Phillis||Walter Blake||Combahee River, Colleton, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Bonaud, Peter||G 34th||Fernandina, FL||Laura E.||Mr. Garrick, Thompson estate, then Nathaniel C. Mills married into the Thompson family and was slaveholder when he enlisted||Savannah GA||VIEW FILE|
|Bonneau or Gaiilard, Israel||E 104th||Mount Pleasant, SC||Jane||Ann, Kate, Eliza, Thomas, Israel||Dr. P.P. Bonneau||VIEW FILE|
|Bowens, Isaiah||C 103rd||Savannah, GA||Sister: Hannah Hopkins||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Brown, Adam||H 34th||Summerville, SC||Ann||Dr. J.C. McKuen||Berkeley County SC||VIEW FILE|
|Brown, Mustifer or John||A 104th||Cross Mills, Berkeley County, SC||Sarah||Patsy||Julius DuBos||Pineville, Berkeley County, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Brown or Grimball, William||2nd USCLA||Charleston, SC||Thomas Grimball, Grimball's son in law Robert McPherson after Grimball's death||Waterloo Plantation, Johns Island||VIEW FILE|
|Bryan, Monday||F 128||Moncks Corner, Berkeley, SC||Mary||Pearl||born enslaved by Thomas Porcher, enslaved by Major John White at enlistment||born Goshen Plantation, Berkeley County, SC, lived on Gippy Plantation before he enlisted||VIEW FILE|
|Camel, Sancho||G 34th||Mount Pleasant, SC||Matilda||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Campbell, Jacob||H 34||Charleston, SC||Elvira||Tom Curtis||Walterboro SC||VIEW FILE|
|Chism, Robert||H 34th||Francis, Putnam County, FL||Charles Lowndes||Combahee||VIEW FILE|
|Chisolm, March||G 34th||Green Pond, Colleton County, SC||Molcey||William C. Heyward||Cypress Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Cohen, Benjamin||F 128th||Georgetown, SC||Caroline||Not revealed in pension file||Sampit, Georgetown County, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Cohen, Caesar||A 128th||Sampit, Georgetown, SC||Tira Devoe||Ralph Stead Izard||Weymouth Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Craft, Samuel||F 34th||Jacksonville, FL||Josephine||George R. Richards||Charleston||VIEW FILE|
|Cunningham, Solomon||G 34th||Salkehatchie, Colleton, SC||Lorena||Hercules, Solomon||Thomas Cuthbert, sold to Joshua Nickels||Beaufort SC, Grren Pond after sold to Joshua Nickels||VIEW FILE|
|Deas, Fortune||D 128th||Walterboro, SC||Judy||March Riley||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|DeCouster, Isaac||H 34th||Beaufort, SC||Silvia||Mary Kirkland||Rose Hill Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Edwards, Tony||B 33rd||Fernandina, FL||Pheba||Charles, Lizzy||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Fell, Albert||F 103rd||Charleston, SC||Hannah||Elizabeth Potts, Julia||Joseph Mikell||James Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Fields, Adam||F 33rd||Beaufort, SC||Louisa McCoy||Tony, Louisa, Caroline, Paul||Richard and/or John Reynolds||Ladies Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Fields, January||C 34th||Beaufort, SC||Amy||William,Aleck, James, Janie, July, Rosana||Charles C. Pinckney||born on Pinckney Island Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Fields, Jonas||C 128th||Ladies Island, SC||Nellie||Dr. Verdier||Beaufort, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Fields, Poledo aka Paul Ledoe||C 21st||Bluffton, SC||Martha||Squire William Pope||Hilton Head Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Fields, Thomas||H 33rd||Port Royal, SC||Daphne, Polly, Elizabeth||Margaret||Richard Fuller||Cat Island, Beaufort, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Fields, William||D 34th||Beaufort, SC||Emily||Dr. Thomas Fuller||Parris Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Finley, Isaiah||B 103rd||Mother: Charleston, SC||James Lawton||James Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Ford, Primus||F 34th||Beaufort, SC||Rosa||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Frasier, Cato||C 33rd||Green Pond, Colleton County, SC||Dora Clifford||Mrs. Mary Hutchinson||Hutchinson Island, Colleton, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Funney, Charles||D 128th||Georgetown, SC||Sallie||Frank, Sallie||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Gadson, Jacob||G 34th||Beaufort, SC||Fortymore||Paul, Betty, Robert, Jacob||James Garrett||Oak Forest, Beaufort SC||VIEW FILE|
|Gailliard or Legare, March||C 128th||Charleston, SC||Minty||Annie, Lizzie||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Gaillard, Stephney||E 104th||Eutawville, SC||Sarah||Eugene Gaillard||near Eutawville, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Giles, Joe||Unassigned 104th||Williamsburg, SC||Flora||Antoinett, John, William, Joe||Not revealed in pension file||married at Gordon plantation, Williamsburg, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Gilliard, Samuel||E 34th||Beaufort, SC||Martha||Tom Fuller||Parris Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Goodwin, Fortune||F 34th||Port Royal, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Goodwine, Mingo aka William Mackey||K 33rd||Charleston, SC||Jane||Louisa||Dick or Frank Pope||Bluffton, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Grant, Stepney||H 34th||Beaufort, SC||Mother: Flora||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Green, Jonas||E 34th||Jacksonville, FL||Lucy Clark||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Green, William||E 334th||Beaufort, SC||Isabella, Molly||Laura, Lotty, Jake, Sonny||Fuller Family||Beaufort, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Griffin, Caleb||B 2nd||Elizabeth City, NC||Sarah Francis||Born free||VIEW FILE|
|Hamilton, Carolina||F 33rd||Beaufort, SC||Miley||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Haywood, Ben||H 34th||White Hall, Colleton, SC||Rose||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Haywood, Cuffy||C 34th||Port Royal, SC||Abbie||Middleton Stewart||Beaufort County, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Haywood, Sandy||C 34th||Grays Hill, Beaufort, SC||Emma||Henry McKee||Ladies Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Johnson, Cato||F 128th||Sampit, Georgetown, SC||Martha||Dr. Johnson and William Dawsey||Sampit, Georgetown SC||VIEW FILE|
|Lawrence, March||G 34th||Green Pond, Colleton County, SC||Rebecca||William Middleton||Newport Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Lawton or Wine, William||E 128th||Brighton, Hampton County, SC||Guardian: W.W. Smith||Henry, Jane, Molsey||Lawton family||Hampton County SC||VIEW FILE|
|LeFluer or Hicks, Winston||H 3rd Colored Cavalry||Crews, Tunica County, MS||Caroline||Jack LeFleur||Carroll County, MS||VIEW FILE|
|Legare or Ancrum, Murry||G 103rd||Adams Run, Colleton, SC||Mary||James Legare||Colleton County SC||VIEW FILE|
|Mack, Josiah||G 34th||Savannah, GA||Ella||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Maddox, William aka Allen Dean||G 34th||Jacksonville, FL||Imanuel? Dean||VIEW FILE|
|McNeal, Scipio||H 34th||Beaufort, SC||Annie Cassell||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Middleton, Adam||G 34th||near Summerville, SC||Rose Harrison||Isaac, Daniel, Mathew, Doctor, George, Rebecca||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Middleton, Jolly||F 34th||Coosawhatchie, Beaufort County, SC||Hannah||Alex, Sara, William, James, Estelle, Joseph||Oswell Barnwell||Myrtle Bush Plantation||VIEW LINK|
|Mikell or Walker, James||K 135th||Edisto Island, SC||Christina Jones, Mary Ann Green||Cornelius, James||Jenkins Mikell||Peters Point Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Miles or Myers, Bristow||F 34th||Sheldon, Beaufort County, SC||Mother: Tyrah Myers||Mrs. Belle Fields||Fields Point Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Moultrie or Alston, Mingo||B 104th||Georgetown, SC||Mary||Martha, Roselle||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Murray or Barnwell, Andrew||E 34th||Beaufort, SC||Nancy||Barnwell family||Laurel Bay Plantation, Beaufort||VIEW FILE|
|Nicholas, Neptune||G 34th||Green Pond, Colleton County, SC||Betsy||Wm. C. Heyward||Cypress Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Oswell, Toney||H 34th||Grahamville, Beaufort County, SC||Pender||John, Lucy, Jeny, Millie||James Bowlin||VIEW FILE|
|Perkins, James||K 35th||Jacksonboro, SC||Betsey Singleton||Not revealed in pension file||Born Pactolus, NC||VIEW FILE|
|Pinckney, Edward||H 34h||Hazelhurst, GA||Joanna Mitchel||Emily Jane, Harry L., Mary Olga, Charles C., Hattie Mosie, Abram Grant, Vera Ruth||H.L. Pinckney; Isaac Dennis, Crawford County, GA||VIEW FILE|
|Pinckney, Limus||E 33rd||Beaufort, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Poinsett, Cuffee||K 128th||Beaufort, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Polite or Chism, Smart||H 34th||Keans Neck, Sheldon, Beaufort, SC||Rebecca Green||Alexander Chisolm||Chisolm's Island||VIEW FILE|
|Polite, Prince||H 34th||Beaufort, SC||Tyra||Not revealed in pension file||Hickory Hill||VIEW FILE|
|Pope, Moses||F 34th||Frogmore, Beaufort, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Richards or Geddis, Dick||H 128th||Summerville, SC||Rebecca||Daniel Postell||St. Pauls Parish, Colleton, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Richardson, Frank||G 34th||Johns Island, SC||Elijah||Richard Porcher, James Lamb||Santee||VIEW FILE|
|Simmons, Columbus||F 34th||Frogmore, Beaufort, SC||Jane Polite||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Simmons, Scipio||H 34th||Beaufort, SC||Annie||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Singleton, Ben||A 34th||Sheldon, Beaufort County, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Singleton, Benjamin||D 33rd||Charleston, SC||Eliza||William McLeod||James Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Singleton, Mingo||B 33rd||Frogmore, Beaufort, SC||Patience Mack||Venus Brisbane, George, Molly, Sarah||Lewis Sams||Port Royal Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Small, Primus||G 34th||Green Pond, Colleton County, SC||Bettie||Henry, Joel, Janey||William C. Heyward||Cypress Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Strobert, Bram||C 33rd||Beaufort, SC||Charlotte Seabrook||Cato||Ben Martin||Binden Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Tenant or Shines, John||H 128th||Seabrook, Beaufort County, SC||Susan||Dr. Charles Tennant||Johns Island||VIEW FILE|
|Tolbert, Gabriel||H 34th||Sheldon, Beaufort County, SC||Betty||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Trapier, Alex||F 128th||Sampit, Georgetown, SC||Louisa||Alex||William Dorsey||Sampit, Georgetown SC||VIEW FILE|
|Vandross, London||C 103rd||Combahee, Colleton County, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Ward, Toby||F 34th||Adams Run, Colleton, SC||William Elliott||VIEW FILE|
|Washington, Middleton||F 34th||Rantowles, Colleton County, SC||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Washington, Simon||G 34th||Dale, SC||Rachel||William Middleton||Newport Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Washington, Smart||H 34th||Fernandina, FL||Lucretia||Not revealed in pension file||VIEW FILE|
|Wescott, Wallace||G 34th||Edisto Island, SC||Ephraim Baynard||Rabbit Point Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|White, Selem||G 34th||Bluffton, SC||Sally||John Middleton||Combahee River, Colleton, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Wing, Tony||H 34th||Combahee, Beaufort, SC||Lucinda Squire||Married at Walter Blake Plantation, Combahee in 1850||Blakefield Plantation||VIEW FILE|
|Wright, Aaron||G 34th||Bluffton, SC||Charlotte Fireall Wright Gadson||Mary, Jane||Stephen Elliott||Parris Island, SC||VIEW FILE|
|Wright, Harry||C 34th||Beaufort, SC||Chloe||Henry Middleton||VIEW FILE|
|Wyatt, Andrew||H 34th||Beaufort, SC||John Parker; James Spaul was final slaveholder||VIEW FILE|
|Young, June||C 34th||Beaufort, SC||Betsey||Sarah, Rebecca, Jane, Charlotte||Tom Rhodes||Ladies Island, possibly Fairfield plantation||VIEW FILE|
Featured Pension File: USCT Pension File of Caesar Cohen, Great Great Grandfather of Michelle Robinson Obama, Georgetown SC
Company A, 128th United States Colored Troops
Featured Pension File: James Walker aka James Mikell, Edisto Island, SC
Company K, 135th USCT
Browse Pension File Abstracts
Gadson, Jacob. USCT Pension File Abstract, Company G, 34th United States Colored Troops, Hilton Head, Beaufort, SC
This file was abstracted by Alana Thevenet. Jacob Gadson was enslaved by James Garrot at Oak Forest, near Bluffton, South Carolina. He was married about 1850 to Fortymore (also rendered Fortimore) Kinlock by Rev. Boston. Fortymore Kinlock Gadson was born about 1826....
Haywood or Heyward, Cuffy. USCT Pension File Abstract, Company C, 34th United States Colored Troops, Beaufort, SC
Biographical Summary Cuffy Haywood or Heyward was enslaved by Middleton Stewart. He was born and raised in Beaufort County, SC. Born about 1824, Cuffy (also rendered Cuffie) first married Binckey/Binky who died at Stuart Point, SC on or about 7 July 1871. Together...
Biographical Summary James Walker, aka James Mikell was born on Peters Point Plantation, Edisto Island, SC about 1845. He was enslaved by Jenkins Mikell. His father’s name was Harry Walker. James went by both Mikell and Walker surnames, Mikell after his slaveholder...
Biographical Summary This pension file was abstracted by Alana Thevenet. Benjamin Cohen was married to Caroline Wilson at Sampit, South Carolina about three years after the Civil War ended. Caroline had been married to Westbury Davis during slavery. Westbury, who...
Biographical Summary Albert Fell was born 15 Dec 1843 on the plantation of Joseph Mikell on James Island, Charleston District, South Carolina. In 1866, Albert married Hannah, who had been enslaved by Tom Legare on James Island. Albert and Hannah knew each other from...
Biographical Summary Stephney Gaillard was born near Eutawville, St. Johns, SC about 1846. His father was Pompey Jenkins. Both Stephney and his father Pompey were enslaved by Eugene Gaillard. Stephney married Bess Clark on 15 December 1868 at the Jake Rush Place...
Biographical Summary Adam Fields was born enslaved about 1 January or March 1842 at Ladies Island, Beaufort County, SC. His father was Tony Fields and his mother was Charlotte Fields. He was enslaved by John Reynolds, as were his parents. [Another records shows his...
Chisolm, March. USCT Pension File Abstract, G 34th USCT, Born on Cypress Plantation of William C. Heyward, Combahee River, Colleton, SC
USCT Pension File of Caesar Cohen, Great Great Grandfather of Michelle Robinson Obama, Georgetown SC
Biographical Summary Caesar Cohen, the paternal great great grandfather of Michelle Robinson Obama, married Tira Devoe at the Weymouth Plantation of Ralph Stead Izard in Georgetown, South Carolina in 1858. Tony Izard officiated the wedding ceremony. Together,...
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