Underground Railroad: Civil War Soldiers
The Lick Creek settlement in today’s Hoosier National Forest was an active free Black community in southern Indiana in the mid-1800s. Along with other African Americans in Indiana, Lick Creek offered up some of their own to fight in the Civil War. Simon Locust, an African American, served one year with Company E 13th Infantry Regiment of the United States Colored Troops (USCT). Locust was drafted into USCT in 1864 along with about 1,500 African Americans in Indiana. Locust returned to the Lick Creek area after the war and was the only veteran listed as living in Orange County. He died in 1891 and was also the last person to be buried in the local church’s cemetery, the only remnant of Lick Creek left today. Unlike Locust, Martin Scott was of mixed heritage and passed as white in order to fight with white troops in Company I 19th Indiana Infantry Division in 1864. Confederate soldiers captured Scott and held him captive after he was wounded in the left thigh at the Battle of the Wilderness. Private Scott was imprisoned at Andersonville, Georgia until July 1865. Scott took a risk pretending to be a white man; however, if the Confederates had found out he was part black he would have been killed upon capture. Recently freed Solomon and Margaret Newby arrived at the Lick Creek settlement in 1840 from North Carolina. The first of their three children, James Harling Newby, was born free in Indiana in 1843. The Newby family left Lick Creek and migrated to North Buxton, Canada. In 1863 at age 20, Newby felt compelled to fight in the Civil War and left Canada to go to Philadelphia where he enlisted in Company I, 3rd Regiment Infantry, USCT. Cheryl LaRoche, Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: the Geography of Resistance National Forest Service, “Lick Creek African American Settlement”, http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hoosier/learning/history-culture/?cid=fsbdev3_017495 [http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/hoosier/learning/history-culture/?cid=fsbdev3_017495] 19th Indiana Brigade, “Martin Scott,” http://www.19thindianaironbrigade.com/Scott,_Martin.html [http://www.19thindianaironbrigade.com/Scott,_Martin.html] Lick Creek Trail: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hoosier/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=41572&actid=50 [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hoosier/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=41572&actid=50] This information about the Underground Railroad is part of a geo-located multi-forest interpretive program. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service Washington Office Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources program leadership with any questions or to make changes. SGV – Recreation Data and Information Coordinator.