From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Scott, Tom

(born: 1844  -  died: 1925) 

Tom Scott, born in Bourbon County, KY, was a survivor of the Saltville Massacre [the murders of wounded African American Union soldiers who were buried in a single grave], which took place in Virginia during the Civil War. Scott was an escaped enslaved man who became a member of the U.S. 5th Colored Cavalry, having joined up in Lebanon, KY.

After the war Scott relocated to Rocky Springs, MS and according to his great-granddaughter was one of the first African Americans to own land in Claiborne County, MS. In 2000, a permanent marker was placed on Scott's grave, located in the cemetery next to the Second Union Baptist Church where Scott had been a deacon.

Additional information from University of Kentucky Anthropology Researcher Nancy O'Malley:

As a enslaved person, Tom Scott was held by James Scott of North Middletown, KY. Scott was the husband of Phillis Ann Risk, who was enslaved by Thomas West Brooks. Tom and Phillis had four children when Tom enlisted in the Army. This information comes from the military muster rolls, a copy of which is available at the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, KY.

James Scott had 27 enslaved people, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. He would have been about 16-years old in 1860; there is a black male aged 16 listed in James Scott's enslaved census.

For more see "Memorial service in Mississippi to honor Kentucky slave-turned-soldier," The Associate Press State & Local Wire, 12/2/2000, State and Regional section; "Saltville Battle and Massacre," Camp Nelson National Monument, on The National Park Service website; and The Saltville Massacre, by T. D. Mays.

Nancy O'Malley, Retired Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archaeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968
(more information about Nancy O'Malley)

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bourbon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Marion County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about North Middletown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lebanon, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire
NKAA Source: The Saltville massacre

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Scott, Tom,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-06-30 18:16:53