Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.
We are relatively certain that Fannie Adkins, born in Virginia was likely the great grand-daughter of Anaka/Annaka of Africa, and gave birth to at least six (6) offspring in Virginia before being sold or transferred by owners as a slave to work and die in Mississippi. The cruelty of chattel slavery at its worst was the routine separation of children from their mothers, fathers and siblings without any human regard for consequences that would last more than a century.
After the war she lived with her daughter Lizzie who apparently had also been relocated with her for plantation labor in Warren County which includes the famed City of Vicksburg, .... .. successfully assaulted and seized by the Union Army of the Tennessee under General Ulysses S. Grant on July 4, 1883 and the same day that Robert E. Lee and his famed Army of Northern Virginia were defeated at Gettysburg.
We know that General Grant had many regiments of U.S. Colored Troops in his army and can reasonably assume that Fannie Adkins was freed from slavery by their services, ... and who can imagine that she and her daughter Lizzie who was thirteen years of age in 1863 saw the lightening and heard thunder by their earthly saviors? One of the saviors in that great battle was a Hemings offspring who is buried there in the veterans cemetery maintained by the National Park Service. A lot of other young Black men died in that brutal campaign and we wonder who and how many others are buried there?
It is doubtful that many, if any, plantation preachers, on the Mississippi River flowing from a thousand lakes under the North Star to New Orleans and Gulf of Mexico, ... had any notion that divine intervention was occurring because of Fannie Adkins' faith. And we do not know either,... but possibilities existed?
Works On Farm
Family History Library Film
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The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321 — an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,876 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census. The total population included 3,953,760 slaves.
By the time the 1860 census returns were ready for tabulation, the nation was sinking into the American Civil War. As a result, Census Superintendent Joseph C. G. Kennedy and his staff produced only an abbreviated set of reports, which included no graphic or cartographic representations. This new round of statistics did allow the Census staff to produce a cartographic display, including preparing maps of Southern states for Union field commanders. These maps displayed militarily vital topics, including white population, slave population, predominant agricultural products (by county), and rail and post-road transportation routes.
The Siege of Vicksburg was the final major military action in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate army of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
When two major assaults (May 19 and May 22, 1863) against the Confederate fortifications were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25. With no re-enforcement, supplies nearly gone, and after holding out for more than forty days, the garrison finally surrendered on July 4. This action (combined with the capitulation of Port Hudson on July 9) yielded command of the Mississippi River to the Union forces, which would hold it for the rest of the conflict.
The Confederate surrender following the siege at Vicksburg is sometimes considered, when combined with Gen. Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg the previous day, the turning point of the war. It also cut off communication with Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department for the remainder of the war. The city of Vicksburg would not celebrate Independence Day for about eighty years as a result of the siege and surrender as well.
We hope that writers like Alice Walker and the screen-writers and their chosen actors and actresses will pause to remember that if women like Fannie Adkins had not given birth to sons like Morris, Joe and James Adkins who served in the Union forces that beat the Confederacy back into the hell of their cause, ... there would not likely have occurred liberation of slaves in North or South America until well into the 20th century, if ever.
We can only wonder what writers like Margaret Mitchell would have written about if slavery in the Americas had been sustained by a losing cause of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln? The Underground Railway to Canada? Maybe Mississippi River-boat tours past the great City of Vicksburg that would have claimed defeat of General Grant because cowardly Black men failed to fight and die that others like Alice Walker could be born free in Georgia?