I was amazed when I read the article on Brad Quinlin and the new Civil War monument, June 29th, MDJ: “Marietta will be home to new Civil War Monument.” I know Brad Quinlin and nobody does better job then him in bringing the Civil War soldiers back to life here in Cobb County. Brad has also been a researcher, on the PBS program “Finding Your Roots.”

Few understand the amount of research that Brad had to do for this project. Kindly allow me, in some little way to describe the mountain, that he had to climb.

Over the last few years, I been conducting research on the 10-day battle that took place inside Pickett’s Mill State Park. There is not one word in the official records of black Union soldiers, no less stretcher bearers. There is not one word in the official records also from the Battle of Allatoona or Kennesaw Mountain.

Brad had to do this research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., going unit by unit in the enlistment and pension records. In the morning, they will allow you to request three and the same goes for the afternoon.

This research had to take Brad years to get to this point.

Through my involvement in the Union Sons and other groups, I have met several black groups portraying United States Colored Troops. Today, few realize that 175,000 black men enlisted in the United States Army, many giving their lives. They were the left wing of General Thomas Army at the Battle of Nashville, Tennessee.

Now that Brad has discovered these lost Cobb County American heroes, wouldn’t it be nice for some black men to come forward and portray these men? Knowing the ranger staff like I do at Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, this would be a program that they would support.

Steve Reilly

Lost Mountain