Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Henry Beard-- Part 2: A Cook With the 105th Illinois
From General Duttons's America by the Sycamore, Illinois History Museum.
Henry Beard was born a slave in Kentucky on January 1, 1831. Described as a big, strong man and very dependable. But, "like most colored men of the time, he could neither read nor write." But he had an "ultra polite manner and deference to all of his acquaintances on the street."
He joined the 105th Illinois Infantry regiment in Kentucky and worked as a cook in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Maryland. This was dangerous because the regiment was often under fire and there was always the prospect of Confederate atrocities on black solders.
When the regiment was mustered out, he went along with them back to Illinois. He met his wife, Judy Jones, at Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1871 and brought her back to Sycamore.
They lived in a two-room house in "The Big Woods" north of Sycamore.
There is a picture of his large family of 9 children.