Posts Tagged ‘american dream’

American Civil War Folklore or Legend, the illuminating story of Confederate Body Servant John Terrill [Black History MMXI. Part xxiii.]

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

by Ann DeWitt

“…he was rich, because he invested in people.”
~Barbershop Movie (2002)

John Terrill (right) and J. B. White (left) of the 6th Tennessee Cavalry, Company D

Ask any student to name an African-American who was acclaimed for accomplishing the impossible  during the American Civil War; and you will likely hear the name Frederick Douglass.  Indeed, Frederick Douglass escaped from the south towards the American dream; and his achievements are extensively documented and recorded.

Though less known, John Terrill is, perhaps, as deserving of similar academic notoriety because a Captain W. H. McCauley Camp 260 2006 newsletter reports that John Terrell  “became a doctor for the black community in the post-war era.”

During the war, John Terrell accompanied Brigadier General J. B. White to war with the 6th Tennessee Cavalry.  If indeed legend is true that John Terrill emerged from behind Confederate lines  years after the war as an American doctor,  the world will be enlightened to know that John Terrill joins Frederick Douglass as an American who understood the importance of investing in people.

For more information about African Americans who served with the Confederate States Army, visit

This article is sponsored by The Street Life Series Youth Edition. Contact email:

Peel Back the Sticker and Reveal the Names of Black ConfederatesPeel back the sticker and reveal the names of African-American men who served in various capacities with the Confederate States Army (Black Confederates) during the American Civil War.

Recommended Reading:

  • 2006 Captain W. H. McCualey Camp 260 Newsletter (
  • Entangled In Freedom: A Civil War Story by Ann DeWitt and Kevin M. Weeks