Frankfort native may have been first Black killed in WWI

Published 4:46 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

Editor’s note: This is one

The base of the 10-foot-tall stone monument in Green Hill Cemetery honors the memory of Black soldiers from Franklin County who fought in the Civil War. It was unveiled on July 4, 1924. (Chanda Veno | State Journal)

in a series of in-depth stories based on the findings of the City of Frankfort’s African American Historic Context Report, which was funded in part by the city and a grant from the Kentucky Heritage Council.

By Chanda Veno, Frankfort State Journal

An estimated 25,000 African Americans from Kentucky served in the military — the second most behind Louisiana.

Many U.S. Colored Troops veterans who fought in the Civil War shared the opinion of Shelby County native 12th Regiment Heavy Artillery Sgt. Elijah Marrs, who said, “I can stand this said I … this is better than slavery, though I do march in line at the tap of the drum. I felt freedom in my bones.”