Natchez National Historical Park
Written By: Kellen Ward
Starting out my service as a Historical Researcher at Natchez National Historical Park I was excited to get started. My day-to-day consists of going through the National Archive’s database and researching the troops from the 6th heavy artillery colored regiment. At first, I was a little overwhelmed by the large number of listings for soldiers there. Still, as I got into it I was interested in finding out how each soldier’s service turned out whether they finished their enlistment, deserted, or something else. I also ended up doing fire safety training which led to the fire department having us put out a training fire with fire extinguishers which were also fun.
When I first started working on my project what caught me off guard about the work was how many different stories there were to tell of all the soldiers in the regiment. Some were discharged because they spent all their time drinking and partying, and some deserted to get married and then came back later. I also found it interesting how there were hundreds of these black soldiers came from southern slave states despite being enlisted in the Union’s army.
Outside of work, I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the areas around Natchez. On my way in I took a road called the Natchez Trace, my supervisor and other members of the park staff gave us the opportunity to look at a few of the camps up and down the trace which so far has been the highlight of my service.