Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Westport Camp #64

Kansas City, Missouri

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Rodney Terry lives in Kansas City, MO. He joined the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, Westport Camp #64, on 8 October 2012. He is currently retired and is a veteran of the VietNam war.
Ancestry: Rufus Vann Corporal, Company E, 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry; Enlisted 9 August 1862; Mustered into Federal service 13 January 1863 as a Corporal. Rufus died of disease at Little Rock General Hospital, 21 February 1865. He is buried in the National Cemetery, Little Rock Arkansas.
Rufus Vann was born in Calhoun County, Georgia in 1819, slave of Cherokee Indians, where he lived until they were forced from the land by the United States Government. After walking the Trail of Tears to Indian Terrority, (present day Oklahoma) they settled there.
Rufus Vann was owned by Avery Vann, and upon his death, ownership was transferred to his daughter, Katy Vann Williams. On 26 March 1843 Rufus married Lucy Williams and to this union ten children were born.
The Civil War began 12 April 12 1861; in early 1862 Katy Vann Williams freed all slaves under her protection. The freed slaves along with Katy Vann Williams went to Fort Gibson, (Muskogee, OK). Due to overcrowding there, the Vann family along with Katy Williams was relocated to Mound City, KS. There, General James Lane was forming the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry made up of freed and run-away slaves. Rufus Vann joined and was placed in Company E on 9 August 1862, under the leadership of Capt. Luther A. Thrasher.
Their first battle was fought at Island Mound in Bates County, Butler, MO, on 27-29 October 1862. This was the first Union victory of the Civil War fought by colored troops. Shortly after this victory, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863. The 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was officially mustered into federal service at Fort Scott, KS, on 13 January 1863. Rufus Vann was promoted to the rank of Corporal.
The 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry fought in eight battles, mainly in Indian Territory and their Regimental Flag list each of the battles fought. Although they lost men, they didn’t lose battles. On 13 December 1864, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was reassigned as the 79th U.S. Colored Troops.
Additional awards and accolades of 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry:
• Proclamation signed by Governor Sam Brownback proclaiming 3-5 August 2012 as 1st KANSAS COLORED VOLUNTEER INFANTRY WEEKEND.

• 27 October 2012, BATTLE OF ISLAND MOUND designated as MISSOURI’S NEW STATE HISTORIC SITE, BATES COUNTY, BUTLER MISSOURI. SITE OF THE FIRST BATTLE FOUGHT BY THE 1ST KANSAS COLORED.

• 1ST KANSAS COLORED VOLUNTEER INFANTRY INDUCTED INTO THE 3RD ANNUAL KANSAS HALL OF FAME LAUREATE CEREMONY, 21 June 2013
Descendants of Rufus Vann:
1 Rufus Vann
... + Lucy (Williams)Vann
.........2 Phyllis (Vann) Bean
........ + Leander Bean
.............. 3 Eliza Jane (Bean) Terry
.............. + Simon Harrison Terry
................... 4 Willard Harrison Terry
................... + Nadine (Erby) Terry
......................... 5 Rodney Simon Terry
......................... + Serena (Reynolds) Terry
............................... 6 Rodney Simon Terry, Jr.
..................................... 7 Shalom Simon Terry

Pictured below is Michael Lundeen, Westport Camp #64 Commander and Rodney Terry; in which Westport Camp Commander Lundeen presented a Membership Certificate to Rodney Terry in Independence, MO on 6 March 2013.
Pictured below on June 21st, 2013, The Great Overland Station, Topeka, KS, presented the 3rd Annual Kansas Hall of Fame Laureate Induction Ceremony. Among the inductees was the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry, along with Clark Kent/Superman; Dr. James Naismith; Kansas, the band and Drs. C.F., Karl, and Will Menninger.
Among those in attendance were several descendants (pictured) of Corporal Rufus Vann, freed slave and volunteer with the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry. Westport Camp#64, SUVCW member Rodney S. Terry, great-great grandson of Rufus Vann, was in attendance at that ceremony.
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