8. Preston ROBERTS was born on 11 October 1839 in Shelby Co, TN.70,71 He served in the military Enlisted in the Confederate Army as a servant of Fernando Roberts in 1861 in Shelby Co, TN.72,73,74 He appeared in the census in 1880 at 10th Dist in Shelby Co, TN.75 Preston owned 11 acres of land worth $200 on 22 December 1881 in Shelby Co, TN.46 He served in the military on 19 January 1904 in Memphis, Shelby, TN.76 WILL GET SOUTHERN CROSS
Preston Roberts Will Be the First Negro So Honored
(From the Pittsburg Gazette)
Visitors to the Tennessee camp at the confederate reunions in the past few years will remember at the Memphis, Tenn., uniformed company's headquarters an old negro in gray uniform, who stood faithful and jealous guard over everything pertaining to the men of that company. He wore the uniform, cap and badge of Co A, confederate veterans. Visitors who go to the next reunion, which is to be held in Nashville in the summer, will see him again as affable, as efficient, as respectful, as young as ever gray uniform, cap, badge and all, but this time he will wear in addition to these the confederate cross of honor, which the women of the South have had made for all confederates who saw actual service in the stirring days of 1861-65. This is the first time in the history of the southern camps that this honor has been accorded a negro, and the fact that there are a hundred or so white men ready to indorse his application is proof sufficient of his worthiness.
This gray-haired negro is Preston Roberts of Collierville, Tenn., sometime camp servant and cook in the command of the confederate cavalry leader, Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, and at present, when on military duty regiment servant for the 1st Tennessee regiment, confederate veterans. When the crosses of honor were first bestowed on the veterans of Memphis "Uncle Pres" felt somewhat slighted and forlorn, for the served through four years, going out with his young master when the first call for soldiers to defend the South was made. He pondered the matter over, and when 18 additional crosses were awarded by the Daughters of the Confederacy the night of Lee's birthday anniversary, on January 19, he asked permission to apply for one of them. Permission was not only readily given by the women, but the men present who knew "Uncle Pres" - and there are few who do not know him - immediately volunteered to furnish the indorsement which is necessary before any veteran is qualified to receive one. The application has been forwarded and when the next presentation of crosses is made the rebel negro will stand in line with the men by whose side he served and receive his bronze medal.
"Uncle Pres" is a typical ante-bellum darky. He was born 60 odd years ago near Collierville, about 20 miles from Memphis, and was body servant to his master, S. H. Roberts. When the call for soldiers came in 1861 "Uncle Pres" enlisted with his young master, F. T. Scott, in Capt. "Ed" Porter's company, which was raised in Somerville, and which was part of Gen. Van Dorn's command. He followed the fortunes of this command until the gallant Van Dorn was killed at the battle of Spring Hill about two years later. Then he followed his master into Gen. Forrest's command. Here he was not a regularly enlisted soldier, but, to use his own expression, was "one of the most importantest men in the army," having under his control 75 negro cooks, with money and authority to buy whatever was needed for his mess, and also authority to "raise" the rations anyway, whether they could be bought or not. He appeared in the census in 1910 in Dist 10, Shelby, TN.77 Preston died on 10 August 1910 at the age of 70 in Shelby Co, TN.78 He was buried after 10 August 1910 at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Germantown, Shelby, TN.78
Preston ROBERTS and Mahala PETTIT were married on 4 December 1883 in Shelby Co, TN.79 They79 appeared in the census in 1900 in Shelby Co, TN.80 Mahala PETTIT was born in August 1844 in Missouri.80
Preston ROBERTS and Mahala PETTIT had the following children: