Lawrence County Union Soldier
Hiram H. Allison
109th US Colored Infantry
Hiram H. Allison, a Lawrence Co. slave, was one of 23,703 blacks from Kentucky who enlisted in the Union Army.Adjutant General's Report of Kentucky, Union Forces
"Uncle Hi" as he was known, was slave of John Allison, Sr. a rich landowner of the valley when it was still a part of Virginia. When Hi was in his early teens he was given to Mary Adeline Allison (John Sr.'s daughter) and Dr. Judge John Clayton, Sr. as a wedding present. "Hi" lived with them until he was told that he was free.
Having heard that "Mr. Lincoln" was calling for Negro volunteers, Hiram decided to join the Union Army. At the time, the 109th US Colored Infantry [USCI], which had been organized at Louisville, KY on July 5, 1864, was stationed at Louisa, KY. "Uncle Hi", with a white recruiter, rode through Lawrence County telling the slaves that they were free and asking them to join the Union forces.
At the end of August 1864, several of the 109th captains, lieutenants and a few privates were mustered in at the end of August 1864, but Hiram was not among them.
Yet, when the 109th USCI was ordered to depart Louisa in October 1864 in order to join Army of the Potomac before Petersburg and Richmond, Va., Hiram left with the regiment and was finally mustered in as private, Co. H, on October 24, 1864, while at Baltimore, MD.
The 109th USCI witnessed the fall of Petersburg, participated in the pursuit of Lee in April 1865 and was present at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered his army, April 9, 1865. Despite the end of the war, the 109th USCI did not immediately return home but embarked for Texas as part of an American build-up intended to discourage French operations in Mexico. The 109th USCI operated along the Rio Grande, Texas, until March, 1866. The regiment was finally mustered out at Louisville, KY on March 21, 1866.
"Uncle Hi" made his way back to Louisa and went to the Clayton farm, about six miles from Louisa, and asked to be taken in. The family very graciously did take him in this time, not as a slave but as a member of the family.
Soon after returning he found that his sweetheart of slave days, Susan Wallace, had gone to Pomeroy, Ohio, so he set out to find her and bring her back as his wife. (Hiram (Hi) Allison and Susan Wallace were the first legally married Negroes in Lawrence County after the
"Uncle Hi" worked in 188? for Sam S. Vinson and Brothers, and later for Colonel Jay H. Northup hauling timber. He also worked for R.L. Vinson, until he passed away on July 29, 1927. Hiram H. Allison is buried in the Wallace Cemetery, Louisa, behind the Labe Wallace Farm, 1 mile out on Rt. 32. His grave marker indicates his service in the 109th USCI.
Hiram H. Allison's name is also displayed on the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC, Plaque Number D-105.
Researched and compiled by Marlitta H. Perkins [September 2002].
Civil War Soldier and Sailors Database [USNPS]
The Salt Water Branch Hangings, (article published in The Big Sandy News, written by Emily G. Swetnam, February 1959
John M. Trowbridge, Kentucky's United States Colored Troops
Lawrence Co. Cemeteries, Vol. 5, 1999; Mary Ellen Reed / Beulah M. Greene / Stephanie A. Adkins