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Glenn Allen Knoblock

Civil War soldier and Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Stark County, Ohio. His father was a native of Virginia, while his mother was from Pennsylvania. Federal Census records of 1870 classify Robert Pinn as a “Mulatto,” an indicator that one of his parents was probably white, or perhaps that he was fair in complexion. Little is known about Pinn's early life, but he was most likely raised in Massillon, Canton, or the surrounding area in Stark County. The early years of the Civil War found Pinn a resident of Massilon, Ohio, making a living as a farmer. At the age of twenty, on 15 September 1863, Pinn set aside his farming tools and traveled the eighty-odd miles westward to the town of Delaware to enlist in the 127th Ohio Regiment, the state's first regiment of black soldiers raised to fight in the Civil War.

Little prior ...

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Glenn Allen Knoblock

Civil War soldier and Medal of Honor recipient, was born the son of an African slave named Hannah and a white father in James City County, Virginia, on the farm of Nathaniel Hankins. Two years later, when Alexander Hankins inherited his father's 400-acre farm, he also inherited the slaves that worked it and their families, including the infant Edward. Married before the war to a woman, also a slave, named Grace, Ratcliff continued as a slave until one day in early 1864 when he “laid down his hoe in the field” and walked the distance to Yorktown to join the Union camp there as a contraband (Virginia State Senate Joint Resolution, 484). He joined the 38th U.S. Colored Troop Regiment (USCT) when it was organized in Virginia on 28 January 1864 thereby becoming a free man and hoping that soon his family would also be free ...

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Michael Frank Knight

farmer, soldier, and Medal of Honor recipient, was born free in Carroll County, Louisiana, the son of sharecroppers. His parents' names are unknown. Before his enlistment at the age of nineteen as a private in the army, Stance worked crops like his parents, but as he later noted, farming did not agree with him. As a member of the Ninth U.S. “Buffalo Soldiers” Cavalry Regiment fighting in the Indian Wars in Texas, he became the first African American soldier after the Civil War era to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery and leadership.

Stance learned to read and write during his childhood or teenage years. He may have received some schooling in Freedmen's Aid Society Schools, which opened their doors during the early years of Union occupation of Civil War Louisiana, or perhaps later in Freedmen's Bureau schools during Reconstruction. In 1866 Stance left the ...