"De Yankees pick me up dere an' say I have to jine de Army, an' if I don' jine, den dey will conscript me anyways." Edmond Bradley, Ex-slave of Mississippi
Edmund Lyons was born about 1825 in Mississippi and lived most of his life as a slave in Caseyville, Copiah County, MS. Edmund was married during slavery times by Harry Mullen around 1845. All that is known of the wife’s name is that her name began with the letter "L". One of their children was George Lyons.
George left the farm going to Natchez, MS, during the fall of 1864. Edmund learned that his son was serving with Company B, 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. After the Siege of Vicksburg, George didn’t return home. He remained in Vicksburg with the 58th Regiment. Edmund didn’t hear from his son until he was told George had died in a Vicksburg hospital during the Spring of 1866.
After the War, Edmund Lyons and his family were living on Seth Applewhite’s place in Caseyville. A few years passed and the Lyons family learned that the men who died, while serving with the Colored Troops, dependents could receive pensions. George did not have a wife nor children but did have parents dependent on George for support, so, Edmund applied for his son’s pension. Edmund knew that the men of Caseyville who served with the Colored Troops were receiving their pensions because he had signed an affidavit for King Anding’s widow to assist her with her husband pension.
In 1886, Edmund began writing the pension board in Washington D.C., requesting the pension. He was told that there was no record of his son serving with the 58th Regiment under the name of George Lyons. He wrote them again and told them that he may have used the name George Applewhite. They wrote him back and told him there was no George Applewhite or George Lyons on the roster of the 58th Regiment. The pension application for George Lyons was denied.
NOTE: George Lyons may have been a part of the 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry, without being enlisted. He may have worked for the Union in a nonmilitary capacity as a laborer, scout or spy.
Remembering Their Names