True Grave Of First African-American Soldier Buried At Chattanooga Confederate Cemetery Found

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The true grave of Shaderick Searcy was uncovered at the Chattanooga Confederate Cemetery
The true grave of Shaderick Searcy was uncovered at the Chattanooga Confederate Cemetery

SHADERICK SEARCY, 1846-1937: PRIVATE C.S.A.

Shaderick Searcy was a black Confederate soldier. He was a bonded servant of Dr. John Searcy of Talbotton, Ga. When the Civil War began, Dr. Searcy, knowing that both his sons James and Kitchen would go off to war, dedicated Shaderick to become body servant to his two boys. 

Both Dr. Searcy’s sons of Company I of the 46th Georgia Infantry were killed during this conflict. James was killed at bloody Franklin, Tenn. and Kitchen was killed at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain near Atlanta.  

Shaderick outlived both his wards and survived the Civil War. He received a pension for his Confederate service and died at the age of 91 in Chattanooga. 

It has been long known and accepted that Shaderick was the first African-American to be buried in Chattanooga’s Confederate Cemetery. The only evidence that Shaderick was located there was a simple headstone, but it was also recognized that this was only a marker and not the grave site.  

During the second week of March, 2016 while restoration of the cemetery was ongoing, the true headstone and final resting place of Shaderick Searcy was discovered.  

"Now as Sons of Confederate Veterans we too can honor the memory and the service of this Confederate soldier," said John A. Campbell, N.B. Forrest Camp 3, Sons of Confederate Veterans. 



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