Remembering Joe Clovese, Civil War Vet Who Moved To Pontiac At 104
Surviving the Civil War is already a feat many men did not get to achieve, but I think there's something to be said about the grit that was shown by the men of the Union Army who did survive, that gave some of them extraordinarily long lives. Joseph “Uncle Joe” Clovese is one of those men, and not only was he the last known surviving Black soldier from the Union, but the man lived to be 107 years old. But when he hit 104, he made the move from Louisiana to Pontiac, Michigan. Oakland History Center recently shared his story on their timeline
Clovese, who lived to be 107 years old, was born into slavery on a plantation in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, and escaped slavery in his teens to join the Union Army during the Siege of Vicksburg. He stayed with the Northern Army, first as a drummer, later as an infantryman. He was a private in Co. "C", 63rd Colored Infantry Regiment.
Clovese was born on January 30th, and the people of Pontiac recognized how special this man was to the point that for his 105th, 106th, and 107th birthdays he was thrown huge parties with a large gatherings. He's one of many incredible men who gave himself to the service, but Michigan had a massive impact in the war, even in other states.
Marker In Tennessee
There's a Michigan Historical Marker located on the Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro, TN. The marker was erected in 1966 and dedicated to Michigan and "her brave and courageous sons who fought at Stones River to preserve the Union." There are hundreds of MI soldiers who are buried on the site.