Cansler, Hugh Lawson White, Sr., Servant, Freeman (Free Colored), born March 26, 1835 Monroe Co., Tenn., joined regiment at the invitation of Lt. Col. Key to serve him and Col. Gillespie June 1862, about October 10, 1862 “...one of Col. Gillespie’s horses threw my shoulder out of place and I was released to go home.” later given a personal release to remain with the family of James Karnes who went into the Confederate army [2nd Tenn. Cav. ?] , married Louisa Ann “Laura” Scott March 1862 which union produced ten children, post war a Wheelwright in Knox and Blount, Co., Tenn. employed for a number of years by Fank [sic] H. Post & Co., , filed Colored Man’s Application for Pension, C122, October 21, 1921 which was rejected, address 309 Main St., Knoxville, Tenn., application witnessed by L[ee] R[exford] Cansler (son) and Laura A. Cansler (wife), application attested by R. L. Cates, “Ex Atty. Gen. of Knox Co.” and J. W. Crudgington, “former Election Commissioner of Knox Co.”, application submitted by son Charles W. Cansler, Principal, Knoxville Colored High School and author of family history “Three Generations, The Story of a Colored Family of Eastern Tennessee”, August 1939, privately printed, died January 28, 1922 in Knoxville, in 1863 wife Laura opened the first school for blacks in Knoxville naming the school for Ambrose Burnside, USA, then commanding Federal forces occupying Knoxville, she died in 1926, the city of Knoxville honored Laura, their first teacher of black students, by naming the Cansler Elementary School in her honor, both buried at Knoxville College Cemetery
Hugh Cansler was the product of a Dutch farmer's daughter, Kansler, who took up with one of his slaves. She bore him six sons who were all light skinned.
He had a brother Henry Cansler, who crossed over the line and served as Private in Company E, 50th Tennessee Infantry.
Another brother James Cansler served as a Cook in Company B, 59th Tennessee Infantry enlisted October 6, 1862, last listed present on the June 30, 1863 muster at Vicksburg, however, there was no parole document in his file. I have a notation that he also served in Company K, 40th U. S. Colored Infantry, USA
Col. W. L.Eakin, 59th Tennessee in a letter to W. T. Rigby, Chairman, National M. P. Commission, Vicksburg, Miss., dated March 12, 1904 from Chattanooga
"I had a freeman [believe James Cansler] who did the cooking for my mess. A sharp shooter, who we supposed was in a tree, succeeded in striking one of the vessels he was using on the fire. He did not stop - only cursed the 'Yankees' went on preparing such meal as we were able to indulge our appetites. He was a brave fellow. I was unable to get permission to bring him away after the surrender. There were some five or six colored men attached to my regiment. We left some of them shedding tears; they all overtook us, before we reached Meridan. Said they told the Yankees that the rebels had impressed them and they much desired to visit their wives and children, and were given rations."