Miles Bruce: From Slaves To Soldiers

Millbrook is home to a large student body, all of whom come from different places. Each student also has their very own unique origin story about where their family descends. One student who carries an interesting story is junior Miles Bruce.

Miles can trace his family’s ancestry all the way back to slavery. His ancestors were originally from Africa, but later shipped to the United States to be sold as slaves. Miles said he couldn’t dig up the time they came over or the exact country they were from. They were sold to a plantation owner named Pendleton. Pendleton took them to his plantation in Millwood, Virginia and passed on his last name to Miles’ ancestors.

The Pendletons were slaves until the fourteenth Amendment finally ended slavery in the United States. However, they weren’t finished working on the Millwood plantation. They became caught up in the sharecropper system with their old master. Sharecropping was when someone rented a piece of land and tools to harvest crops. In return, they would give a percentage of the profit to the landowner they were borrowing the land from. It was an unfair system that was stacked against the former slaves. They finally packed their bags, left the plantation, and headed to Winchester. New jobs were becoming available in Winchester in factories and mills.

One of his ancestors, Theodore Pendleton, bravely moved out west once slavery was abolished. Theodore Pendleton joined the cavalry and was stationed in Kansas. During his time in Kansas, he met a Cherokee woman whom he married later. After his time in the cavalry, he and his wife returned to Millwood.           

Miles’ story doesn’t end there though. He was proud to say that he has generations of family members who served in the military. His great grandfather, Francis Meade Pendleton, served in World War One and his grandfather Robert Pendleton served in World War Two.

About the Author

Luke Rangel
Luke is a junior at Millbrook. Luke enjoy's listening to awful music, "playing" the guitar and what's the point of being in a punk rock band without your best friend?