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Stephen Lytle


Mr. Stephen Lytle (also Lightner), a Veteran of the Civil War, is buried in Ellsworth Cemetery near Westminster, Maryland.

Mr. Lytle was born about 1827 and was enslaved. Prior to the war, Mr. Mordecai Gist (the grandson of Gen. Mordecai Gist) enslaved Mr. Lytle. Mr. Lytle appears on the 1860 Slave Schedule as a 35-year-old, along with a 23-year-old woman and an infant girl whom Mr. Gist also enslaved.

Oddly, no record of Mr. Lytle’s manumission appears in either his military record or in the Carroll County court records. Mr. Gist’s cousins, Mrs. Harriet (Gist) Dorsey and Ms. Ann Gist, had manumitted Mr. Jacob Lytle and received their $300 in Federal reparations. Mr. Gist would been entitled to a similar payment. The two Lytle men may have been related to each other.

In any case, Mr. Stephen Lytle enlisted in the 4th USCI in August of 1863. He helped to fortify Yorktown and fought in the Battle of Petersburg. He suffered from rheumatism and worked as a cook for some time as well.

After the unit mustered out in May of 1866, Private Lytle returned to Westminster. In 1870, he is living with his wife, Matilda (Dorsey) Lightner and their daughter, Harriet. It is possible that they were the two other people enumerated in 1860 as being enslaved by Mr. Gist.

Mrs. Lytle died in the summer of 1878. Mr. Lytle remarried a few years later to Ms. Sophia McFarland. Sadly, his second wife died in the spring of 1896.

Private Lytle continued to live in Westminster, participating in the Grand Army of the Republic. The Thaddeus Stevens Post in nearby New Windsor was where he and his fellow African American Veterans met. His daughter moved to Philadelphia. He died on May 16, 1903.

Pension index card

Military Record


Pension Record, National Archives

American Sentinel, May 1903

1870 Census

1860 Slave Schedule

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