On Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.., the Franklin Civil War Round Table will present Tina Calahan Jones, who will speak on “African American Soldiers from Williamson County.”
It has long been known locally that a few dozen African American Civil War soldiers had Williamson County ties, most of them serving in the U.S. Navy. Information about the service of African Americans is often scarce, hard to trace, and making their stories difficult to tell.
In recent years, however, Franklin resident Tina Calahan Jones has researched at least 284 slaves who entered the federal military during the war, all from Williamson County. Along with these men, she has identified thirty-eight who served as “body servants” with the Confederate Army during the war, also from Williamson County.
Born in Indianapolis and raised in Connecticut, Jones attended Vassar College earning a degree in International Studies. From there she earned her master’s degree in Health Care Policy and later a law degree from the University of Virginia. She has worked as a health care attorney in a Nashville private practice and later served as associate general counsel at Vanderbilt University.
Now living in Franklin with her husband and daughters, she is active in several community groups including the Spring Street Seniors at St Paul’s Episcopal Church and the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County. Her experiences in these groups led to her interest in what had been a largely untold story about the experiences of black soldiers from Williamson County.
The event is free to the public.
The Franklin Civil War Round Table is an educational program of Franklin’s Charge, and meets this month only at the historic Franklin Masonic Lodge located at 115 Second Ave South.