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Randolph Vesey
Grave Marker
Cemetery Road, Decatur
Oak Lawn Cemetery, Cemetery Road -North Decatur; enter at main gate, turn left at first paved road; drive past gazebo, marker on left near telephone pole.

    Born a slave near Savannah, Georgia, Randolph Vesey was body servant to Confederate General William Lewis Cabel during the Civil War. In 1868, while living on the Montague-Wise County line, Vesey was captured by Indians and taken to Kansas. Black scout Brit Johnson ransomed Vesey with horses contributed by friends in Texas. A natural musician, Vesey often played the violin at dances in this area. He married Missouri (Zoe) Light and had two children.

  Second Marker
State Street, at Courthouse, Decatur
East side of Courthouse Square

    Respected Negro citizen and homeowner. Champion pioneer fiddler, popular at Forts Belknap, Griffin and Richardson and over county. Once when he was an Indian captive, held in Kansas, Texans sent ponies to ransom him. He is buried in Oak Lawn, Decatur. Born in Georgia. He served during the Civil War as body servant and voluntary battle aide to General W. L. Cabel of the Confederate army. Vesey's courage and loyalty were typical. Hundreds of slaves went to war with masters. Many operated farms and ranches of soldiers away at war, producing cotton and food for the Confederacy. Others did work for hire, with wages supporting the master's family. On patrol duty they protected homes from Indians, bandits, outlaws. During War years, 1861-1865, some 30,000 to 50,000 Negros - free and slaves - aided Confederate armies. They served with the Nitre and Mining Bureau and departments of medicine, engineers, quartermaster general, ordnance and commissary general. They built fortifications on coasts from Brownsville, Texas, to Norfolk, Virginia, and at inland points. Many were army teamsters, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, butchers, shoemakers, cooks, and nurses. Texas and other states later provided land grants and pensions for army.