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Local soldier was among troops in Galveston on Juneteenth

Juneteenth National Independence Day became a federal holiday last week when it was signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden after being passed by both houses of Congress.

The new holiday commemorates an order issued by Major Gen. Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, in which he declared that the enslaved people in Texas would thereafter be free.

With so much attention given to the new holiday, Gloucester native and family historian Gloria Waller recently reflected on her family’s connection to Juneteenth. Waller says that her great-grandfather, Sam Mayo, was among the federal troops in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.

What is sometimes not well understood is that the Civil War did not come to an absolute halt when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Military conflict continued in areas that remained under the control of the Confederacy. Texas was one such place. In fact, the final battle of the Civil War may have been the Battle of P...

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