I have been researching the 14th Tennessee for years and still come across things that catch me off guard. I just recently received by copy of Civil War Flags of Tennessee and immediately turned to the 14th Tennessee section. In reading the list of known color bearers I was surprised to see “George Johnson was listed as a free man of color who served as a color bearer for the 14th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.”
I had long heard the reports that Boney Smith and/or George Powell, both of whom carried the colors at Gettysburg were black, but I believe those claims have been pretty thoroughly discredited. Now the specter of the 14th Tennessee’s black color bearer again lifts its head.
I noticed that the source of that statement was the “Kenneth Legendre Color Bearer Files,” and I see that he is a frequent contributor to this site. Hoping he will notice this post or someone can direct me to him. I would love to know the source of this claim.