George Dance was in a picture that was made before 1914 at the Lynchburg, Moore County, Tennessee, courthouse.  In it a number of elderly men were posing for a reunion for the area Confederate Veterans.  Other pictures from around 1900 taken from Gen’l N.B. Forrest’s Escort reunion, again reveal George Dance with his fellow Vets.  For some people these pictures are a problem.  For SCV members it is not!  A check with a genealogical online service indicates George Dance was a Confederate Veteran.  He was obviously at a reunion with his veteran comrades.  He had applied for a Confederate pension number C46 in Moore County, Tennessee, having served in the 8th TN Infantry, CSA. Oh yes, why is this a problem to some?  George Dance is black. Was George a free black when the uncivil war broke out?  Currently no information is available and more importantly, does it matter?

George Dance was born Jan 1, 1842 and died Nov. 12, 1924. This information was obtained from the photograph that also contained the dates of birth and death of the other men.  Presently, very little is known about George Dance. The state of Tennessee census records of 1891, page 27, indicates he in District 1 as a registered male voter. He, his wife America, and their three children are in the 1880 U.S. census of Moore County. He is listed as a farmer and she as keeping house. All are listed as being born in Tennessee. Next he was found in the 1910 U.S. census of Moore County as widowed, employed in a grist mill, and a survivor of the war. The census does indicate he said he was born in Alabama.  He is next found in the 1920 U.S. census of Moore County as widowed, not employed, and living with a son and family.  A granddaughter is named America. Again it states he was born in Alabama.  There is a state of Tennessee record of marriage in Moore County,  between George Dance and Maggie Travis, of 11 Dec. 1873.  Could she possibly be Maggie America Travis?

George Dance back row center

Picture with George Dance taken next to Moore County Courthouse, Tennessee, before 1914

Forrest Escort Renunion Lynchburg TN abt 1900

Forrest Escort Renunion Lynchburg TN abt 1900

Another view Forrest Escort Reunion abt 1900

Another View Forrest Escort Reunion abt 1900

Arguments concerning the role that blacks played in the Confederate army continue to this day.  Pundits still contend the degree of contributions make by blacks, in addition to disputing the actual numbers of those freed men or slaves who served gallantly with their white southern allies. With the surviving documents, veteran’s personal accounts and affidavits, official records, and periodicals, it is remarkable that many want to ‘cover up’ or just deny that southern blacks would serve in, and later be proud of participating in the Confederate army.

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