John R. (James) Merrick was born around 1843-44. He served in Company I, 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After the war, he came to Urbana and worked as a laborer. He was a member of Black Eagle Post No. 129, GAR in Urbana. Merrick died on 14 January 1890 of pneumonia resulting from influenza and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Urbana.

Source: African Americans in the Civil War