New York, fifty-five miles south west of Albany, and in the fall of the same year entered Union college, Schenectady, seventeen miles west of Albany,
and graduated from the same institution in July 1858. His diploma is signed by Eliphalet Nott, a celebrated divine and educator of his day.
At that time 84 years of age and active in discharging his duties as president of the college.
At the close of his college career Mr. Peterson went to Mississippi to teach school.
His contract was with one Mr. Lashley, a cotton planter in the Mississippi bottom, whose home was about four miles back from the river near Point Worthington.
Mr. Peterson speaks of this as one of the most interesting and enjoyable years of his life.
It was at a time when African slavery was at its most flourishing condition, when the cotton and sugar planters were looked up to as a superior class, and when his political influence was all powerful.
It was his first acquaintence (sic) with slavery.
To go from New York to Mississippi was like going to a foregin (sic) country; everything was strange and new. To see the first slave - to see him in his cabin, and in the beautiful green cotton fields, sparkling through and through with white cotton bursting and hanging from the balls was a sight most impressive and never to be forgotten.
Mr. Lashley had a very moderate sized plantation of 142 field hands. Mr. Lashley's only child was a son of 18 who was Mr. Peterson's only scholar. He received $100 per month and board, use of horse and servant and all traveling expenses for his services. At that time there were no public schools, and few institutions of learning in the state of Mississippi. Mrs. Lashley was a cousin of the celebrated John C. Breckenridge and on a visit to New Orleans that winter, Peterson stopped at Baton Rouge and took supper in company with Mr. Breckenridge at one Robert McHatton's, brother of Mrs. Lashley. Breckenridge was on his way to Washington to resume his duties as vice president of the United States. The following year Mr. Peterson taught school in a boy's acadamy (sic) at Winchester, Tennessee. Peter Turney, the present governor of Tennessee, was one of the trustees of the academy. The year following he taught at Athens, Alabama. He had a school of twelve scholars; Mr. Houston then member of congress after United States senator was one of the patrons, also Luke Pryor who afterward was United states senator from Alabama.
Mr. Pryor was one of the poor whites of the south, and when a young man used to cut and cart wood to Athens to sell. He was a man of great natural ability but of limited education.
Just before the commencement of the war, Peterson left the south and went to Peru, Indiana, where in August, 1861 he enlisted in the United States volunteer army. He was first lieutenant of company A 39th Indiana. This regiment, in the winter of 1862, was changed into a cavalry regiment, known as 8th Indiana cavalry and at the time of this change Peterson was made captain of company M.
General Sherman was his first division commander and General A. McD. McCook of the regular army now stationed at Denver was his second division commander. He was with his company in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Pulaski, Green River, Penyville, Chickamaugua and Chattanoga when Grant raised Braggs' seige. A large portion of the time he was judge advocate on the staffs of Genl's Sill and R. M. Johnson of Kentucky: he was mustered out of service in November, 1864. After the war he located at Campaign, Illinois, and engaged in the mercantile business till 1885; he then came to Norton and organized the State Bank of Norton, holding
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