Lawrence Pierce (grandfather 0f Cottie Pierce Peele), born about 1824 in North Carolina, enlisted in the Union Army — in the U.S. Colored Troops — on August 1, 1864, at the age of 39.
He was assigned to the 14th United States Colored Heavy Artillery with the rank of Private. Most of the 14th’s service was in garrison duty at New Berne, NC. According to veteran pension records from the 1880’s, Lawrence Pierce survived his enlistment without notable physical injury.
Lawrence’s enlistment and muster roll document (one page is shown at left), indicate that he was 5’9″, with black eyes, a light complexion, and light hair.
Apparently, he was to be paid $300 for his enlistment. It’s interesting to wonder if that was his primary reason for enlisting. He was nearly 40 years old, had almost certainly been born free, and had a wife and very young son (Lawrence Pierce, Jr., Cottie Pierce’s father) at home. The war would be over about 8 months after his enlistment, and Lawrence may not have gotten more than 50 miles from home, but I am impressed with his choice, and proud to be one of his many descendants.