Welcome Lee

(Pasquotank County)

Featured Character – 1863

Welcome Lee

1st U.S. Colored Infantry

Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress

A slave laborer from Elizabeth City, Welcome Lee joined the United States Colored Troops. He escaped to Roanoke Island where he worked for the Union Army Quartermaster Corps building and repairing fortifications at Roanoke Island, Newbern and Alexandria, VA.  He then joined the ranks of the newly formed 1st US Colored Troops Infantry (USCI) under the command of General Edward A. Wild.  Lee would return to Elizabeth City in the winter of 1863 with other members of the 1st USCI to help restore Federal control over the Dismal Swamp Canal, aid Unionist residents and disperse Rebel guerrillas.