E. H. Williams was a collateral ancestor of Curtis Cole's mother. Oral tradition of the Williams family is that Erasmus' father had freed his slave(s), an action that was resented by his neighbors in eastern Duplin County, North Carolina. The differences of opinion motivated Erasmus' father to move his family to the states of the former Northwest Territory in the Midwest, where slavery had never been legally sanctioned.

In 2001, Curt posted a searching notice to this effect on a genealogical website, not really feeling any confidence of ever getting a reply. Nearly a year had passed when he did receive an answer from a female relative in the Midwest. Thoroughly amazed to have received the reply to his search, Curt was even more astonished to see this excellent photograph of his ancestor.

E. H. Williams' family had moved from Duplin County, North Carolina during the 1830s. They lived for a while in Indiana, but at least some of them moved on to Wisconsin. He was a member of Company ? of the 20th Wisconsin Regiment. He was promoted to sergeant on ___ , 186?. He wears the standard-issue frock coat of Federal soldiers. The color of the piping and his stripes would have been of sky blue, the regulation color for infantry. The two-inch dark blue stripe on his sky blue trousers was to identify him as a noncommissioned officer.

This photograph was taken in Galveston, Texas in 1863.

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