Submitted by M. Denise Dennis
During the Civil War, Sgt. Ralph Payne (1844-1900) of Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania and grandfather of Harriette Payne Dennis, served in the 41st Regiment of the US Colored Troops during the Civil War.
Payne participated in the Appomattox Campaign in, “pursuit of Lee, April 3-9, 1865,” under General U.S. Grant and was among more than two thousand African American soldiers who were present when the confederates surrendered to the Union Army.
After the war, Ralph Payne traveled with the 41st Regiment to Texas arriving at Brazos Santiago on June 3, and was among the Union soldiers who spread the news to African Americans in Texas that they were free.
Juneteenth celebrates the day, June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger formally announced, in Galveston, that enslaved Africans Americans were emancipated.
The Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust is currently raising funds to meet a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to transform the 195-year-old Dennis Farmhouse near Kingsley in Susquehanna County to a state-of-the-art museum that tells the history of the United States through the extraordinary history of the Perkins-Dennis Family, a free landowning African-American family from the colonial period over 200 years ago.