Tag Archives: U.S.56th Colored Troops

From Slaves to Soldiers – the Abingtons

Everyone is invited to join the O’Fallon Historical Society and FSage Chapelriends at 1PM on Sunday, July 16, 2017 for an afternoon program “From Slaves to Soldiers – the Abingtons” at the VFW Post 5077 ( 8500 Veterans Memorial Highway, 63366). Special guest will be George Abington, a descendant of the family whose family history has been researched by the program’s speaker, Dorris Keeven-Franke. The program will include a discussion of the fate of nearby Sage Chapel Cemetery, an African-American cemetery in O’Fallon. A special invitation to anyone who is a friend of Sage Chapel and has family buried there. The program is free and open to the public. For more information anyone may call 636.221.1524 or 636.272.8160


The Abington family came from Virginia to Missouri in the 1830s with many of their slaves and settled in the Foristell area. With them came Nathan who was George’s Great-Grandfather on his mother’s side, and Sally who was George’s Great-Grandmother on his father’s side. One of Nathan’s son’s was Granville Abington who served in the U.S. Colored Troops in the Civil War. Abington family members are buried at Smith Chapel Church in Foristell, in the African-American cemetery at Wentzville, and at Sage Chapel Cemetery in O’Fallon.

Granville Abbington of the U.S. 56th Colored Troops

About 1837, Henry Abington of Henry County, Virginia (1767-1844) moved west to Missouri. The U.S. financial downturn had caused many of the old plantation owners to look west, to the new territory, the young state and its plentiful lands. The young State had come into the Union with the Missouri Compromise of 1821. Slavery was allowed. He and his wife, the former Elizabeth Johnson brought their huge clan, including their sons Henry (1793-1851) and William (1794-1840) and a large amount of family slaves.

The family would become one of St. Charles County’s largest slave owning families, and would fight, steal and bicker over them in the St. Charles County courts for years. To this day this provides a large amount of legal documents and records that share a story with the Union Army’s 56th Colored Troops and a monument that stands tall today in Jefferson Barracks two hundred years after Granville Abington’s death.

Continue reading Granville Abbington of the U.S. 56th Colored Troops