Sebert Douglas

Sebert Douglas lived in Kentucky before and during the Civil War.  In this excerpt, he gives several brief recollections: of Morgan’s raid, enslaved persons who joined the Union Army, examples of KKK violence, and what he did after emancipation.
See full document • Visit the Library of Congress to see the original document


I remember [Confederate General John Hunt] Morgan’s Raid. I don’t remember what year it was but I remember a right smart about it. Cumberland Gap was where they met. The Rebs and Yankees both came and took things from old master. I remember three horses they took as well. Yankees had tents in the yard. They were in the yard right in front of the Methodist church.

My mother was Mrs. Hood’s slave, and when she married she took my mother along and I was born on her place. I was the carriage boy in slave times. My father did the driving and I was the waiting boy. I opened the gates.

I remember Billy Chandler and Lewis Rodman ran off and joined the Yankees but they came back after the war was over.

Pattyrollers were about the same as the Ku Klux. The Ku Klux would take the roof off the colored folks’ houses and take their bedding and make ’em go back where they came from.

We stayed right there with old master for two or three years, then we went to the country and farmed for ourselves.

I went to school just long enough to read and write. I never seen any use for figures until I married and went to farming.

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Sebert Douglas82 years oldBernice BowdenGover Hood
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Pine Bluff, AKArkansasLebanon, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Civil War, Emancipation, Violence,First person, dialect, Klan/mob violence, Union soldiers,


Can we count on your support?

This website is a service of Reckoning, Inc., a small non-profit organization that depends on grants and donations to continue our work. Up to this point, we have avoided putting any paid advertising on our website. If you would like to help us keep it that way, please consider making a donation to our organization.