Monday, January 31, 2011

African Americans served in 1st Massachusetts Infantry in 1861 before USCT

African Americans enlisted with the 1st Massachusetts Infantry in May 1861 before serving with the United States Colored Troops as officers according to "Massachusetts in the army and navy during the war of 1861-65, Volume 2" By Thomas Wentworth Higginson (included in second book below).  This dispels the falsehood that African Americans did not serve in the Union Army until the United States Colored Troops was organized.

Higginson explains that the list beginning on page 484 is far from complete.  He had difficulties at the time with being allowed to research at the Record and Pension Office in Washington.  It appears he was able to extract information from the Massachusetts regiment rolls where a record of the troops was recorded when they were promoted as officers to serve as USCT's.

Edward S. Daniels

He also explains that there are inaccuracies.  For this reason, I took the liberty of researching an officer, Edward S. Daniels, who enlisted May 23, 1862 and was a Private in Company A.  He was discharged on October 4, 1862 and later became a Captain with the 35th USCT Infantry until his discharge on May 18, 1866. See page 487.

Company A of the 1st Massachusetts was organized under Colonel Robert Cowdin on May 23, 1863.  Edward S. Daniels is also listed in the following book "First Regiment of Infantry, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia: Colonel Robert Cowdin," By United States Army on page 18.

History and documentation

You can read more about the history of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment here: Civil War in the East.  Edward S. Daniels' is also found in the U. S. Civil War Record and Profile database at  He was 26 when he first enlisted in May of 1861 and he was wounded while serving with the 1st Massachusetts Regiment.  A record of his service in both regiments is included.

For background on the 35th United States Colored Infantry, see the thesis, JUST LEARNING TO BE MEN: A HISTORY OF THE 35TH UNITED STATES COLORED TROOPS,1863-1866 by SHANA RENEE HUTCHINS and Thirty-Fifth United States Colored Troops (First North Carolina Colored Volunteers).

Daniels' Civil War Service Record is on Footnote.  It is a huge undertaking, but I would suggest that anyone who researches a Civil War soldier study the history of the regiments, battles, commanders, and biographies and records of fellow troops, etc. to be able to get an understanding of what your ancestor went through during the Civil War.  You may also find connections to other family members who served.

We will discuss Edward S. Daniels further in a future post.  He happened to be one of 800 prisoners exchanged and brought to Anapolis on March 7, 1865.  See CITIZEN PRISONERS RETURNED BY STEAMER GENERAL SEDGWICK AT ANNAPOLIS, MARCH, 7, 1865

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Take a look inside USCT complied service records: The Death Report

We will spend a few posts covering the type of records and information that may be found in the Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops.    After the Bureau of Colored Troops was created in May 22, 1863, regiments of African American troops were officially recognized as United States Colored Troops.

With this designation came the required paperwork such as death reports.  When a soldier died, the commander was required to take an inventory of his possessions and complete a report which detailed his payments, money owed for clothing, etc.  Any pay that was due the soldier would be given to the next of kin or legal representative.  See Articles of War (19) Army Regulations on page 38 of M1818, Roll 96 below.

Private David McQuilley, born in Madison County, Mississippi,  enlisted on March 1, 1864 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  He mustered in on March 23rd as a laborer with the 1st United States Colored Heavy Artillery, Company A to serve three years.   Almost two months later, he died from a disease in a regiment hospital. 

His commander provided an inventory of his effects which was clothing which had been provided for him:
  • one cap
  • one flannel shirt
  • one pair shoes
  • two blankets
  • one rubber poncho
He died owing one dollar.   Other men having the same surname of McQuilley enlisted on the same day as Private David McQuilley and they were also born in Madison County, Mississippi. Clayton McQuilley deserted.  Jacob McQuilley also joined on March 1, and served until May 20, 1866 with Peter McQuilley.

A Scott McQuilley also served until he died in March 1866.  You can review each of these compiled service records on images 30 through 101 below.  Scott and David McQuilley were 2 of 697 enlisted soldiers who died from disease from this regiment.  That's a staggering amount when you consider that only 124 died as the result of combat between when this regiment was organized on December 1, 1863 until it was mustered on May 20, 1866.  For more details, see American Civil War Regiments at Ancestry.

Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops
artillery organizations
Published 1998 by National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC .
Written in English. (OpenLibrary)
5th United States Colored Heavy Artillery
M1818, Roll 96, McQuilley, Clayton-Mosley, Jacob 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Kansas Colored Volunteers: "...not a single coward among them."

The following account appeared in the Daily National Republican. (Washington, D.C.) on November 10, 1862. 

Gen. Lane's Black Troops---They Fight Bravely.

The courage of the blacks, as fighting men, on land and water, has been illustrated in all our wars.  Their first fight in this war, which is described below, seems to have been a brave and successful affair:

Special correspondence of Chicago Tribune.

Leavenworth, Nov. 3 1862---The Kansas colored regiment had a fight with a guerillas commencing on Tuesday last and continuing several days in which the blacks were victorious.  The facts (as related as related to me by Lieut Lyon, of company A, First Kansas, colored.) are as follows:  The rebels, under Jackman and Cockrell, occupied and held an island at the head of the Osage river, at the junction of the Mari-de-zene and Mill Creek.  These two combining form the Osage river near Butler, Bates county, Missouri.  At this point the secesh keep a large quantity of stock guarded by these guerillas.  Major Henning, commander of Fort Scott, and provost marshal of Southern Kansas, ordered from Fort Lincoln a detachment of the colored regiment, (the regiment is stationed at Fort Lincoln,) 160 men from the First, Colonel Williams, and seventy men from the battalion of colored troops from Southern Kansas, under Captain Leamen, making 230--all under Captain Ward, acting commander of the regiment for the time being, the colonel being absent.

Arriving at the island, they found about 400 guerillas--the blacks took possession of Tootman's house, a noted guerilla by that name residing there---they surrounded the house and yard with a wall of rails, and named it Fort Africa.  The enemy were all mounted, and they made frequent attacks on the blacks.  The guerillas were reinforced with 200 men, and the blacks sent to Fort Scott for reinforcements and ammunition, meanwhile the 200 men, and the blacks were fighting the 600 secesh.  Up to Thursday night seven blacks were killed and eight wounded.  Capt. Crew, (white,) of Company A, was killed and his body was brought to Leavenworth yesterday.  Lieut. Gardner, (white,) the fighting Quaker, so-called, was wounded on our side, and up to the same time from fifteen to twenty of the guerillas were killed.  The number of wounded not known to my informant.  On Thursday night, the reinforcements from Fort Scott came on the ground, consisting of 150 cavalry and two pieces of artillery.  The guerillas immediately commenced retreating to the island, and down the river. It was the intention to attack them on the island the next morning, and break of the nest.  The final result I will send you when I get it.  Thus the first black blood has been spilled in fighting with the enemies of the Union.  I have several accounts from the scene of action, and they all agree that the blacks fought well--and not a single coward among them; but they were rather hard to handle and keep back, and they had to be held with a tight rein, like a pair of young fed horses, anxious to go--and go at the guerillas!

 "Daily National Republican. (Washington, D.C.) 1862-1866, November 10, 1862, Image 4." Chronicling America - The Library of Congress. The Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities. Web. 22 Jan. 2011. <>.
Account of first battle of First Kansas Colored Volunteers, column 1.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Valiant service of First Kansas Colored Volunteers recognized

Screenshot of Sons of the South: Slavery Pictures
Contention over enlisting slaves

Senator and General James H. Lane liberated and armed slaves long before the public and the Federal government thought it was feasible.

"The prejudice against the negro made even the most advanced philanthropist hesitate in such a policy, under the fear that the negro, like the Indian, would perpetrate barbarities in revenge for their hardships as slaves that would arouse the enmity of the civilized world against our country, and it was for that reason that Lane's policy was not to stand up in the Senate and advocate unconditional enlistment; and only when pressed by Pro-Slavery men did he break out in his real sentiments, bringing cheers from the galleries." See page 261, "Life of Gen. James H. Lane," by John Reed.

For this reason, Lane was not able to disclose his true desires to enlist former slaves, however, it is without question that he sought advance his ideals in Senate debate:

"I say to the gentleman from Iowa, that I wished to be understood, that the Government of the United States was not committed in this joint resolution to the policy of arming the slaves. Permit me here to say, however, and I wish it distinctly understood, that if I had the command of that army, while I would not commit the Government to the policy, I would say to every slave: "I have not arms for you; but if it is in your power to obtain arms from rebels, I will use you as soldiers against traitors."  See page 261, "Life of Gen. James H. Lane," by John Reed.
Permission from Lincoln himself

According to biographer, John Reed, six months after the above debate:

"...I was walking down Pennsylvania avenue, in Washington, with Lane, he told me that he had just received authority to organize three regiments of white and two of colored soldiers in Kansas; and when I asked in
amazement to see the order to enlist the colored troops, he informed me that it was a Verbal promise from the President that he would see that they were clothed and subsisted until such time as they could be brought into line armed and equipped for battle; and on August 4, 1862, he opened a recruiting office in Leavenworth for both white and colored troops. 

He stumped the entire State, appealing to the patriotism of the people, in a campaign of unparalleled energy and power; and in less than six weeks he had the Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Kansas regiments organized, and a nucleus for the First and Second Colored infantry, the First Colored Battery thrown in for good count, and all completed before the ides of October. He appointed all the officers, under the authority of the President—no recognition being given to the Kansas State Government. I am not explaining. I am only attesting a fact. Abraham Lincoln did it."  See pgs. 261 262,  "Life of Gen. James H. Lane," by John Reed.
Distinguished service recognized

The First Kansas Colored Volunteers,  made up largely of slaves from Arkansas and Missouri, became an official regiment on January 13, 1863.  It was later renamed the 79th Colored Infantry.   The following is an excerpt from the Committee on Military Affairs, page 71 of "Congressional serial set, Issue 2709", from May 15, 1890,  and it describes the valiant service of Lt Colonel James M. Williams and the First Kansas Colored Volunteers:

"The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 1037) authorizing the placing of the name of James M. Williams upon the retired list of the U. S. Army, with the rank of captain of cavalry, have examined the same and report:
The army record of James M. Williams, late captain of the Eighth Cavalry, shows that he entered the volunteer service in July, 1861, as captain of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry, and served therewith until September, 1862, when he accepted an appointment as lieutenant-colonel of the First Kansas Colored Volunteers—afterwards the Seventy ninth United States Colored Troops; that he was promoted to be colonel of that regiment and served therewith until May, 1864, when he took command of a brigade, retaining such command until near his muster out in October, 1865.
His record in the volunteer service was exceptionally good. He was among the first to approve the policy of utilizing the colored men as troops on the Union side and giving them the opportunity, by displays of courage and self-control, to demonstrate their fitness for the freedom that awaited them and the higher duties of citizenship with which they were to be invested. He enlisted, equipped, and mustered into service the First Kansas Colored Volunteers, which afterwards became distinguished as the Seventy-ninth United States Colored Troops. While in command of this colored regiment it participated in engagements at Cabin Creek in June, 1863, at Honey Springs in July, 1863, and at Poison Springs April, 1864, in which last action 40 per cent, of the men engaged were killed and wounded, and 22 per cent, were left dead on the field. Of an action at Elk Creek, C. N., in which the regiment was engaged July 17,1863, General Blunt, in his official report thus speaks.
Mush credit is due to all of them for their gallantry. The First Kansas Colored particularly distinguished it-self; they fought like veterans, and preserved their line unbroken throughout the engagement. Their coolness and bravery I have never seen surpassed; they were in the hottest of the fight, and opposed to Texas troops twice their number, whom they completely routed. One Texas regiment (the Twentieth Cavalry) that fought against them went into the fight with 300 men and came out with only 60. It would be invidious to make particular mention of any where all did their duty so well.
General McNeil, on assuming command of Fort Smith, Ark., November 2, 1863, bears the following testimony to the thoroughness of the drill and discipline of this regiment:
On Saturday I reviewed the First Arkansas Infantry Volunteers, First Colored Infantry Kansas Volunteers, and Rabbi's Battery. The negro regiment is a triumph of drill and discipline and reflects great honor on Colonel Williams, in command. Few volunteer regiments that I have seen make a better appearance. I regard them as firsts rate infantry."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Kansas Colored Volunteers' recruiter helped make Civil War about ending slavery

Flag of the First Kansas Colored Volunteers at Find A Grave 
The First Kansas Colored Volunteers were the first African Americans to be enlisted by the Union Army to serve in the Civil War and to engage in combat and die.  Their recruiter, United States Senator James H. Lane, was a forward thinker. He developed his ideas about slavery and war strategy long before President Lincoln.

Slaves, strength of Confederate Army

Most officers in the Union Army were very conservative, according to John Speer in "The Life of General James H. Lane (Book is included below).  They saw slavery as an acceptable institution. Lane believed African Americans should not be subjected to slavery and should be educated.

The North entered the war with the strong intent of preserving the Union, but they failed to recognize the Achilles' heel of the South.  They sought to appease slaveholders by upholding slavery in the states where it currently existed.  The Confederate Army relied heavily on the menial tasks of slaves in battle, in the fields, and in other arenas for forced labor. Slaves were caretakers over families while the slaveholder was away fighting.  They were a strong support under the enemy's subjection.

Lane's progressive thinking

Lane sought early to cut off the strength of the Confederate Army. He was not about to defend a country who upheld slavery. A story he often sold illustrates his understanding of military strategy:

"In the school of Kentucky on the line of the Hoosiers and Corncrackers, when I was a boy, we fought prize fights at the country schools for the mastery. I had practiced till I was proud and vain of my proficiency; but there was one Joe Darrah, a boy of my age, whose skill and muscle I had failed to overcome. One Saturday night, when we boys were in swimming, poor Joe knocked his shin upon a rock, and I had him show his sore, and I marked well the spot that was wounded, and was ready whenever he should have the temerity to enter the contest. The time came the next Saturday night; up came Joe and the combat commenced. The first opportunity. I kicked Joe on the shin, and he fled the field bellowing like a calf. I tell you, comrades and fellow-citizens, that slavery is the sore shin of the Confederacy, and you miss the opportunity of your lives, if you fail to kick it whenever and wherever you can. When the slaveholder comes into camp whining about his constitutional rights, and begging you to help catch his slaves, kick him on his sore shin."  See Life of Gen. James H. Lane: "the liberator of Kansas.
Enemies in the Union

Unionist began to turn against one another.  Many became vehement enemies of Lane and sought his life.  Some believed that to put guns in the hands of former slave would destroy the Union.  In reality, the Union had already been compromised with secession and seizure of Federal property.

In the next post, we will examine the steps Lane took in helping to free slaves and formed the first African American infantry amid great protest between August and October of 1862.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Black Brigade: Violent beginning, valiant end

City of Cincinnati on September 27, 1862. Visit Sons of the South

When Union forces were defeated at Richmond, Kentucky on August 30, 1862, Cincinnati, Ohio lay vulnerable to an attack by rebel forces.  There was no one to defend Cincinnati.  When Fort Sumter fell, citizens of Cincinnati and African Americans of Cincinnati began meeting for the purpose of defending the city should the need arise.

They organized the "Home Guard" which incited certain citizens of Cincinnati, and the police took the keys of the schoolhouse.  When they selected a different location, they were required to take down the American flag because they were not considered citizens.  They were discouraged from getting involved in a war that mobs believed did not concern them.

Eventually on September 1, 1862, the city was put under martial law by General Lewis Wallace calling for laborers and soldiers to secure the city.  Mayor George Hatch called on all citizens and aliens to come to the voting places to enroll.  African Americans did not vote at that time so they had to place to report, and they believed as they had been previously told to stay out of the business of the war.

They did not know the reference to aliens meant them.  They were violently and forcibly removed from their home by the Cincinnati police without notice and herded across the river to a mule pen at the point of bayonet.  No explanation was given to family members.  No time was allowed to prepare supplies for living in an outdoor camp.  The African American troops were concerned that they were getting dangerously close to the Kentucky border where they could be captured and forced into slavery.

The Gazette published the following protest:

"Let our colored fellow-soldiers be treated civilly, and not exposed to any unnecessary tyranny, nor to the insults a race which they profess to regard as inferior.  It would have been decent to have invited the colored inhabitants to turn out in defense of the city.  Then there would have been an opportunity to compare their patriotism with that of those who were recently trying to drive them from the city.  Since the services of men are required from our colored brethren, let them be treated like men."  See Ohio Genealogy Express.
General Wallace was apprised of the situation, and on September 4, 1862, he sent William M. Dickson, a 34 year old lawyer to take command of the African American forces at Fort Mitchell.  General Wallace knew that Dickson would treat the African Americans fairly.

After arriving at Fort Mitchell, Colonel Dickson sent relieved the police and sent the troops home to ease their families and adequately prepare to return the next day. They were presented a national flag with the inscription, "The Black Brigade of Cincinnati" by Captain Lupton, assistant to Colonel Dickson: 

"I have the kind permission of your commandant, Colonel Dickson, to hand you, without formal speech or presentation, this national flag - my sole object to encourage and cheer you on to duty.  On its broad folds is inscribed, 'THE BLACK BRIGADE OF CINCINNATI.'  I am confident that, in your hands, it will not be dishonored.
    "The duty of the hour is work - hard, severe labor on the fortifications of the city.  In the emergency upon us, the highest and the lowest alike owe this duty.  Let it be cheerfully undertaken.  He is no man who now in defense of home and fireside, shirks duty.
    "A flag is the emblem of sovereignty - a symbol and guarantee of protection.  Every nation and people are proud of the flag of their country.  England, for a thousand years, boasts her Red flag and Cross of St. George;  France glories in her Tri-color and Imperial Eagle; ours the 'Star-spangled Banner,' far more beautiful than they - this dear old flag! - the sun in heaven never looked down on so proud a banner of beauty and glory.  Men of the Black Brigade, rally around it!  Assert your manhood, be loyal to duty, be obedient, hopeful, patient.  Slavery will soon die; the slaveholders' rebellion, accursed of God and man, will shortly and miserably perish.  There will then be, through all the coming ages, in a very truth, a land of the free - one country, one flag, one destiny.
    "I charge you, Men of the Black Brigade of Cincinnati, remember that for you, and for me, and for your children, and your children's children, there is but one Flag, as there is but one Bible, and one GOD, the Father of us all." See Ohio Genealogy Express.
The Black Brigade became the first group of African American troops in the North to be employed by the military.  They were a group of at least 1000 men, but records have been lost and only 706 are known.  See the Muster Roll of the Black Brigade of Cincinnati.

The men of the Black Brigade performed many jobs in defending Cincinnati. The main tasks they were in charge of were making military roads, digging trenches and riffle-pits, felling forests, and building forts and magazines. During their first week of service, The Black Brigade received no compensation for their labor. The second week they were given $1.00 per day, and the third week they received $1.50 per day. They never actually participated in combat; however, at one point they were only a mile away from the line of battle, unarmed, with only the cavalry between them and the Confederate troops. There was only one casualty among the Black Brigade, which was an accident that occurred while cutting down trees. By September 11, Confederate troops were retreating back into Kentucky. During a speech, General Wallace declared, "When the history of Cincinnati during the past two weeks comes to be written up, it will be said that it was the spades and not the guns that saved the city from attack by the Rebels."

By September 20, the Black Brigade was sent back home to their families. They presented Dickson with a ceremonial sword to thank him for his leadership and kindness. Colonel Dickson accepted the gift and led his troops through the streets of Cincinnati proudly, with music playing and banners flying. After their service to the Black Brigade many of those men went on to become part of colored regiments for the Union Army. In fact, Powhatan Beaty, member of the Black Brigade was one of less than twenty African-American men to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor for his service and bravery in the U.S. Army. The men who so readily helped defend Cincinnati went unnoticed for the most part. The white troops, the Squirrel Hunters, have been honored by the state. However one of the most important rolls in defending Cincinnati too often goes unnoticed. See Black Brigade of Cincinnati.
 During this point of the war, African Americans were not allowed to serve from Ohio, so members of the Black Brigade went on to serve in different regiments on different battlefields.

Useful Links:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A man, Captain Andre' Cailloux (1825-1863), and His Excellence

Funeral of Andre Cailloux in New Orleans, July 29, 1863 from the August 29, 1863 edition of Harpers Weekly Mpleahy (talk | contribs)
Captain Andre' Cailloux (1825-May 27, 1863) was a captain of Company E of The First Louisiana Native Guard formed by General B. F. Butler in New Orleans. The Native Guard, According to African American historian, George Washington Williams, was made up of all well educated, wealthy, and influential free "colored" men.

"One of the most efficient officers was Capt. Andre' Callioux, a man whose identity with his race could not be mistaken ; for he prided himself on being the blackest man in the Crescent City. Whether in the drawing-room or on tho parade, he was ever the centre of attraction. Finely educated, polished in his manners, a splendid horseman, a good boxer, bold, athletic, and daring, he never lacked admirers. His men were ready at any time to follow him to the cannon's mouth; and he was as ready to lead them. This regiment petitioned their commander to allow them to occupy the post of danger in the battle, and it was granted." See The Negro in the American rebellion: his heroism and his fidelity, By William Wells Brown (below).

On May 26, 1863, those under the command of Major-General Banks were positioned before the enemy's artillery. At least the First Louisiana Native Guard and the Third Regiment Native Guard (ex-slaves and white officers) would be sent out first. There were four lines of "Negro" soldiers totaling 1080.

"When the order for the assault was given, the men moved forward in quick time, and then changed it into double-quick. The line was almost perfect, and the movement was executed with spirit and dash. The enemy held his fire until the assaulting column was within four hundred yards of the point of attack. Suddenly the earth quaked, and a sheet of fire flashed along the forts; a cloud of smoke rose over the ramparts, and the air was filled with demons of destruction and death—hissing, screaming, howling, and leaping at their black victims with the rapidity of lightning. The slaughter was dreadful, but the shattered, quivering, bleeding columns only wheeled by companies to the rear, reformed at a shoct distance from the foe, and again gallantly dashed down through the Valley of Death and chargod for the guns on the bluff. But the sixty-two pound shot, the shell, canister, and minie-ball were more than infantry could contend with in the open field; the pierced and thinned columns recoiled before such terrible odds.

Lieutenant-colonel Henry Finnegas fearlessly led his columns to the assault over the same crimson path, obstructed by the dead and wounded, ploughed by shell, but lighted forever by fadeless deeds of martial valor. The mill of death was now grinding with rapacious greed. The enemy was serving his guns with rapidity and accuracy; the Union gunboats were hurling monstrous shot and shell into the river side of the enemy's work; but all eyes, of friend and foe, were turned towards the remorseless hell of conflict, bristling with bayonets and glinting with the red flash of shotted cannon, into which Negro troops were being hurled by the inexorable orders of Brigadier-general William D wight. It was of no avail that these troops fought like white veterans. A deep bayou ran under the guns on the bluff, and although the troops reached its edge, some fifty yards from the enemy's guns, they could not cross it. After Colonel Nelson had become convinced that his men could not carry the forts, he despatched an aide to General Dwight to report the difficulties he had to contend with. "Tell Colonel Nelson," he sternly said," I shall consider that he has accomplished nothing unless he takes those guns!"

Not a man faltered when the torn and decimated lines were reformed and led over the same field to the same terrible fate. Shell and solid shot severed limbs from trees, tore off tops, and, in falling, these caused the men much annoyance. The colors of the First Louisiana were pierced by bullets and almost severed from the staff. The color-sergeant, Anselmas Planciancois, was gallantly bearing the colors in front of the enemy's works when a shell cut the flag in two and carried away part of the sergeant's head. His brains and blood stained the beautiful banner, which fell over him as he embraced it in death. In a struggle for the flag the generous rivalry of two corporals was ended by the shot of a sharp-shooter which felled one of them. He dropped upon the lifeless body of the color sergeant, while his successful rival carried the colors proudly through the conflict.

Captain Andre Cailloux, of Company E, First Regiment Native Guards, won for himself a proud place among the military heroes of the Negro race for all time. He was of pure Negro blood, but his features showed the result of generations of freedom and culture among his ancestry. He was a man of fine presence, a leader by instinct and education. He was possessed of ample means, and yet was not alienated from his race in any interest. He loved to boast of genuine blackness, and his race pride made him an acceptable, successful, and formidable leader. It was the magnetic thrill of his patriotic utterances that rallied a company for the service of his country the previous year. Upon all occasions he had displayed talents as a commander, and gave promise of rare courage when the trying hour should come. It had come at length: not too soon for this eager soldier, if unhappily too early for the cause he loved! During the early part of this action the enemy had trained his guns upon the colors of these Negro troops, and they especially received the closest attention of the sharp-shooters.

Captain Cailloux commanded the color company. It had suffered severely from the first, but the gallant captain was seen all along the line encouraging his men by brave words and inspiring them by his noble example. His left arm was shattered, but he refused to leave the field. Now in English and then in French, with his voice faint from exhaustion, he urged his men to the fullest measure of duty. In one heroic effort he rushed to the front of his company and exclaimed, "Follow me!" When within about fifty yards of the fort a shell smote him to death, and he fell, like the brave soldier he was, in the advance with his face to the foe. It was a soldier's death, and just what he would have chosen.

The correspondent of the New York Times gave the following account of the conduct of these regiments:

"During this time they rallied, and were ordered to make six distinct charges, losing thirty-seven killed, and one hundred and fifty-five wounded, and sixteen missing, the majority, if not all, of these being in all probability now lying dead on the gory field, and without the rites of sepulture; for when by flag of truce our forces in other directions were permitted to reclaim their dead, the benefit, through some neglect, was not extended to these black regiments.

"The deeds of heroism performed by these colored men were such as the proudest white men might emulate. Their colors are torn to pieces by shot, and literally bespattered by blood and brains. The color-sergeant of the First Louisiana, on being mortally wounded, hugged the colors to his breast, when a struggle ensued between the two color-corporals on each side of him as to who should have the honor of bearing the sacred standard, and during this generous contention one was seriously wounded. One black lieutenant actually mounted the enemy's works three or four times, and in one charge the assaulting party came within fifty paces of them. Indeed, if only ordinarily supported by artillery and reserve, no one can convince us that they would not have opened a passage through the enemy's works.

"Captain Cailloux, of the First Louisiana, a man so black that he actually prided himself upon his blackness, died the death of a hero, leading on his men in the thickest of the fight. One poor wounded fellow came along with his arm shattered by a shell, and jauntily swinging it with the other, as he said to a friend of mine, 'Massa, guess I can fight no more.' I was with one of the captains, looking after the wounded going in the rear of the hospital, when we met one limping along towards the front. On being asked where he was going, he said, 'I been shot bad in the leg, captain, and dey want me to go to de hospital, but I guess I can gib 'em some more yet.' I could go on filling your columns with startling facts of this kind, but I hope I have told enough to prove that we can hereafter rely upon black arms as well as white in crushing this infernal rebellion. I long ago told you there was an army of 250,000 men ready to leap forward in defence of freedom at the first call. You know where to find them, and what they are worth.

"Although repulsed in an attempt which, situated as things were, was all but impossible, these regiments, though badly cut up, are still on hand, and burning with a passion ten times hotter from their fierce baptism of blood." See A history of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, pages 218-223, by George Washington Williams.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Formation of The First Regiment Louisiana Native Guards

Officers of Company C of the 1st Louisiana Native Guard at Fort McComb, Louisiana by Mpleahy (talk | contribs) (Harpers Weekly, January 1863)

The First Regiment Louisiana Native Guards was one of the first African American regiments in the Civil War.  This regiment organized in New Orleans in September of 1862 was composed of mostly freemen.  General J. W Phelps, a West Point graduate from Vermont can be credited with the idea of arming African Americans in Louisiana even though he did not command take command of them.

On June 16, 1862, General Phelps sent a letter to General B. F. Butler who was in charge of Union forces in the State:

"The enfranchisement of the people of Europe has been, and is still going on, through the instrumentality of military service; and by this means our slaves might be raised in the scale of civilization and prepared for freedom. Fifty regiments might be raised among them at once, which could be employed in this climate to preserve order, and thus prevent the necessity of retrenching our liberties, as we should do by a large army exclusively of whites; for it is evident that a considerable army of whites would give stringency to our Government; while an army partly of blacks would naturally operate in favor of freedom and against those influences which at present must endanger our liberties." See Thomas Wentworth Higginson's Army Life in a Black Regiment.
Butler did not reply, and on July 30, 1862, Phelps wrote another letter detailing how he had 300 "Africans" that were organized into three companies and that he could soon raise three regiments.  Butler's reply was very discouraging for Phelps.  Butler instructed Phelps to continue to use the "Negroes" as laborers.  He was instructed to see them as contraband, not as soldiers.

Butler resigned, and returned to Vermont. Perhaps he moved in too much haste because public opinion was now shifting toward employing "Negroes" in the military.  Many in the North favored the policy of General David Hunter.  On August  4th, 1862, the first call for African American soldiers in the North to enlist when Governor Sprague of Rhode Island made he official announcement for all "Negro" citizens of the state to enlist.

General Butler immediately recognized the dissatisfaction of the North for his rejection of General Phelps plan.  He issued a call to free African Americans of New Orleans to join Union forces as soldiers.  General Phelps had barely resigned three weeks prior to Butler's change of heart.

"Under the treaty of 1803, between France and the United States, the rights and immunities of citizenship had been guaranteed to "free colored Creoles." There was a large number of this class in the city of New Orleans. Many of them were descendants of the Negroes who fought under General Jackson in 1815. By their uniform good behavior the free Negro population of New Orleans had won public favor. In April, 1861, they had formed a part of the State militia; and when General Butler occupied the city these organizations still had a nominal existence.
The free Negroes read General Butler's appeal with pleasure, and by the 27th of September, 1862, a full regiment of free Negroes was mustered into the service of the United States Government. It was constituted as the " First Regiment Louisiana Native Guards," but its designation was changed to the " First Regiment Infantry Corps d'Afrique," June 6,1863. Another regiment of Negroes was accepted on the 12th of October, 1862, under the designation of the "Second Regiment Louisiana Native Guards;" changed, however, to the " Second Regiment Infantry Corps d'Afrique," June 6, 1863.
On the 29th of November, 1862, a Negro regiment of heavy artillery was mustered into the service. It was designated as the " First Regiment Louisiana Heavy Artillery." On the 19th of November, 1863, it was changed to the "First Regiment Heavy Artillery Corps d'Afrique." On the 24th of November, 1862, the fourth regiment of Negroes was mustered into the service of the Government as the " Third Regiment Louisiana Native Guards;" but on the 6th of June, 1863, with the other regiments, it was designated as the "Third Regiment Infantry Corps d'Afrique." See A history of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, by George Washington Williams.
From the date of General Butler's appeal to the free Negroes of New Orleans, August 22d, till the date of the muster in of the fourth regiment, November 24th, was three months. During this brief period three regiments of infantry and one of heavy artillery, all composed of Negroes, had volunteered and been organized and accepted by the United States. The enthusiasm of the men and the short time in which they prepared themselves for service was unprecedented. The news of this work in the city of New Orleans revived the hopes of those who had advocated the policy of arming the Negroes." 

See THE NATIVE GUARDS' BLACK OFFICERS for the roster of African American officers who served in the Native Guards.  

More Links:
The Louisiana Native Guards' Story
The Creole Military Experience
First Regiment Louisiana Native Guards Militia Infantry 

Monday, January 10, 2011

General David Hunter's Bold Leap Paved Way For Arming African Americans in CW

David Hunter
David Hunter
English: Library of Congress Civil War Collection
Source=Originally from [ en.wikipedia]; description page is/was [ here]. |Date=2005-04-30 )
The Secretary of War gave permission to General Sherman in October of 1861 to "employ all loyal persons offering their services for the defense of the Union."  Congress and public sentiment favored arming fugitive slaves, however, President Lincoln and many in the North were against it.  By opposing the enlistment of fugitive slaves who outnumbered the rebels, more Union Troops fell victim to disease and injury.  Lincoln even threatened to resign over the issue.  General J. Watts De Peyster, Senator Charles Sumner, Senator Henry Wilson, and Governor Yates of Illinois were among those most vocal about arming slaves.  See A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, page 86.

Sherman did not agree with the growing sentiment, but when General David Hunter, nicknamed "Black Dave," relieved him on March 31, 1862, he boldly began to arm African Americans. The Government previously had the help of fugitive slave labor, they just did not arm them.  Hunter was the first to do so, and he garnered no support from the Government.  He was also condemned by the Northern press.

On June 9, 1862, C. A. Wycliff of the House from Kentucky sent a letter to the Secretary of War, Edward M. Stanton, calling into question Hunter's actions and demanding to know whether he had armed fugitive slaves, given them clothing, arms, uniforms, etc. and who had authorized him to do so.   Hunter wrote a bold letter in response to Wycliff:

In the first place, General Hunter informed the Secretary of War that no regiment of "fugitive slaves" had been organized in his Department. He said that there was, " however, a fine regiment of persons whose late masters are 'fugitive rebels'—men who everywhere fly before the appearance of the national flag, leaving their servants behind them to shift as best they can for themselves. So far, indeed, are the loyal persons composing this regiment from seeking to avoid the presence of their late owners, that they are now, one and all, working with remarkable industry to place themselves in a position to go in full and effective pursuit of their fugacious and traitorous proprietors." 
General Hunter then explained that the instructions issued by the Hon. Simon Cameron, late Secretary of War, to Brigadier - general Thomas W. Sherman, were turned over to him for his instruction and guidance; that the instructions authorized him " to employ all loyal persons offering their services in defense of the Union and the suppression of this Rebellion."
There was "no restriction as to the character or color of the persons to be employed," continued General Hunter," or the nature of the employment, whether civil or military, in which their services should be used." He thought the instructions warranted his enlistment of Negroes as well as whites, so that they were loyal; and that he was equally empowered "to enlist 'fugitive slaves' as soldiers, could any such be found" in the Department of the South. "No such characters, however," he continued, "have yet appeared within view of our most advanced pickets, the loyal slaves everywhere remaining on their plantations to welcome us, aid us, and supply us with food, labor, and information.
It is the masters who have in every instance been the 'fugitives,' running away from loyal slaves as well as loyal soldiers, and whom we have only partially been able to see—chiefly their heads over ramparts, or, rifle in hand, dodging behind trees—in the extreme distance. In the absence of any 'fugitive-master law,' the deserted slaves would be wholly without remedy, had not the crime of treason given them the right to pursue, capture, and bring back those persons of whose protection they have been thus suddenly bereft." The closing paragraph of General Hunter's admirable letter was the most concise statement on the question of making the Negro a soldier uttered during the war. It is splendid:
"I must say, in vindication of my own conduct, that had it not been for the many other diversified and imperative claims on my time and attention, a much more satisfactory result might have been hoped for; and that in place of only one, as at present, at least five or six well drilled, brave, and thoroughly acclimated regiments should by this time have been added to the loyal forces of the Union. The experiment of arming the blacks, so far as I have made it, has been a complete and even marvelous success. They are sober, docile, attentive, and enthusiastic; displaying great natural capacities for acquiring the duties of the soldier. They are eager, beyond all things, to take the field and be led into action; and it is the unanimous opinion of the officers who have had charge of them, that, in the peculiarities of this climate and country, they will prove invaluable auxiliaries—fully equal to the similar regiments so long and successfully used by the British authorities in the West India islands." See A history of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, pages 92-94.
Every slave who enlisted under Hunter was given his freedom papers.  Here is a copy of a "free paper:"

"Headquarters Department of the South, "Port Royal, South Carolina, August 1,1862. "The bearer, Prince Rivers, a sergeant in First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, lately claimed as a slave, having been employed in hostility to the United States, is hereby, agreeably to the law of the 6th August, 1861, declared free forever. His wife and children are also free. D. Hunter,
"Major-general Commanding."

Hunter's Regiment was disbanded and Hunter resigned.  His regiment was reorganized as the The First South Carolina Volunteers.  Prince Rivers served in this regiment.  Thomas Wentworth Higginson mentions him. 
Prince Rivers, who became color−sergeant and provost−sergeant in the First South Carolina Volunteers, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, its colonel, writes: “There is not a white officer in this regiment who has more administrative ability, or more absolute authority over the men; they do not love him, but his mere presence has controlling power over them. He writes well enough to prepare for me a daily report of his duties in the camp; if his education reached a higher point, I see no reason why he should not command the Army of the Potomac.
He is jet−black, or rather, I should say, wine−black; his complexion, like that of others of my darkest men, having a sort of rich, clear depth, without a trace of sootiness, and to my eye very handsome. His features are tolerably regular, and full of command, and his figure superior to that of any of our white officers, being six feet high, perfectly proportioned, and of apparently inexhaustible strength and activity. His gait is like a panther's; I never saw such a tread. No anti−slavery novel has described a man of such marked ability. He makes Toussaint perfectly intelligible; and if there should ever be a black monarchy in South Carolina, he will be its king.
( Thomas Wentworth Higginson's Army Life in a Black Regiment, pp. 57, 58., & Letters From Port Royal by Elizabeth Ware Pearson)

Other officers shared the same sentiment as Hunter.  General J. W. Phelps, West Point graduate from Vermont sought to raise regiments in Louisiana, but met with opposition.  We will feature the formation of the First Regiment Louisiana Native Guards in an upcoming post.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Truths about the African American Civil War soldier

George Washington Williams (1849-1891), African American historian from Pennsylvania, wrote "A history of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion."   He enlisted in the Union Army at 14 years old, graduated from Newton Theological School and became a pastor in Boston.  Williams became a lawyer, a columnist, founded a Boston newspaper, and became the first black legislator from the state of Boston.  Read more about his accomplishments at

I have chosen to share the insights of George Washington Williams because of his efforts to portray the truths about African American history in general:

"In his historical works Williams strove for objectivity and the truthful recording of history, but he also essentially wrote from a revisionist perspective. He researched avidly and wrote with the goal of rerecording American history to honestly and responsibly include the roles and experiences of African Americans."  See

In  "A history of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion,"  sheds great light upon false ideas being perpetuated today.  I will address a few of them here, and we will revisit this work until we have addressed each misconception.

One of the most common misconceptions about black soldiers is that they were not as adept as white soldiers.  Washington takes great pains in the section entitled "Negro Soldiers in Ancient Times" providing the ancient history of Egypt around 795 B. C. and their military successes.  He said that Egyptians  employed "Negroes" in their armies, and they would have not done so if they were not well suited.  I have provided his book above so that you can read for yourself and feel as confident as I do about this fact.

The next great confusion that still exists today is the belief that slaves had no concept of freedom nor could  buy into the ideals of freedom because they lacked the intelligence to do so.  It is believed that they were just pawns in the political and economic processes of the time lacking the ability to ever be equal enough to make worthy contributions to society or to rise above the capacity of servitude.

Washington dispels this opinion in Chapter 2, "Negro Soldiers in Modern Times."  The black race has not spent its entire existence in servitude.  Studying ancient history can clear that misconception, however, that is not our focus at the moment.  While he was forced into servitude to dominant races for three centuries up to, it is impossible to conclude that he did not catch wind of and become excited about the principles of liberty during the course of captivity in the colonies.

As these principles distilled upon the minds and hearts of the American colonists as they pursued freedom, one cannot help to see the effects upon the enslaved and freemen.  They more than anyone would have understood and contemplated the GREAT CONTRADICTION of being enslaved while at the same time others struggled at all cost to be free.

Many names on the rolls of Revolutionary War Patriots are those of freedmen and slaves hired out by masters.  They dwindled between liberty and tyranny themselves, and they never secured freedoms for their race in that day.  They were instrumental in the American cause making them great patriots.

It would be incorrect to assume they forgot about the cause and did not instill the hope of freedom in their children.  They were enlisted to help in the cause of America's freedom.  In order to begin to understand the breadth of their sacrifice, delve into the account above beginning at page 10.

I am quite positive the remainder of the slave population at least caught wind of the colonist's plight.  Even slaves were mustered-in to champion the cause of freedom.  The cause ended in victory, at least for the citizens of America.  The slaves would have to wait.

During that waiting, the seeds of liberty incubated.  Pressures mounted between the North and the South to the point that Americans would once again bare arms...this time against each other.  The enslaved would have recognized this contest between those who held slaves and those who did not as another opportunity to secure freedom.  They would be die if need be for that freedom.  To suggest that they were somehow unconscious as this nation entered into this great defining moment would be absurd.

On page 94, Williams shares portions of General David Hunter's (Hunter's Regiment) letter read to the House of Representatives describing the slaves who enlisted:

"The experiment of arming the blacks, so far as I have made it, has been a complete and even marvellous success. They are sober, docile, attentive, and enthusiastic; displaying great natural capacities for acquiring the duties of the soldier. They are eager, beyond all things, to take the field and be led into action; and it is the unanimous opinion of the officers who have had charge of them, that, in the peculiarities of this climate and country, they will prove invaluable auxiliaries—fully equal to the similar regiments so long and successfully used by the British authorities in the West India islands."
In our next post we will examine the efforts of General Hunter and how he paved the way for the formation of the First Regiment Louisiana Native Guards on September 27, 1862 who had actually been a part of the Louisiana State Militia in April 1861.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hunter's Regiment, first Civil War regiment of former slaves

View About Our Freedom Map in a larger map

Hunter's Regiment was on the first attempts to create a black regiment.  Sergeant Charles Tyler Trowbridge of the New York Volunteer Engineers was first given the responsibility of recruiting in May of 1862 on Hilton Head Island.  At first, because many white officers were not happy with commissioning black soldiers, they instilled fear in many by spreading stories started by slave masters that the "Yankees would sell them to Cuba," and that the Union would make them work without pay. (First African American soldiers strike a blow for freedom as early as 1862).

Even though they did work for a time without pay, and they had no promise that they nor their families would be freed if they fought, they did still enlist.  General David Hunter had, according to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "bad influences around him".  They eventually took the stand that they must enlist every black.  Great suspicion surmounted because of all the rumors, forced enlistments, and lack of pay.  The regiment never could become a cohesive unit.

The regiment except for one company was disbanded in August 1862 after four months and, they never received any pay. Trowbridge and his company were sent to St. Simon's Island along the east coast of Georgia to help Commodore Goldborough to pursue Confederate guerrillas on the island.
See St. Simons Island Experience to learn more about the plantations on this island along the coast of Georgia

On the island they found black men had already taken charge of the situation.  John Brown and Edward Gould commanded twenty-three other escapees.  They pursued the slave masters led by Miles Hazard into a swamp, and when they entered single-file, they were fired upon from behind a log where the slave masters were hiding.

The first in command, John Brown, was killed within six feet of the log and others were wounded. Both sides retreated.   When Trowbridge and his men reached the island, they searched for the rebels, they learned of the events from Clarence Kennon, a slave who had not yet escaped. John Brown may very well be the first African American to die in the Civil War.  His father, Uncle York, and Clarence Kennon went on to serve in the First South Carolina Volunteers under Higginson.

Contraband camps sometimes depict freedmen and women as totally destitute and waiting for the Union Army of the North to put an end completely to their plight, however, at least one piece of oral history helps us to understand some of the activities  which supported the military.  Susie King Taylor (1848-1912), teacher and first African American Civil War nurse, wrote about her experiences on St. Simon's Island and with Trowbridge:

"The latter part of August, 1862, Captain C. T. Trowbridge, with his brother John and Lieutenant Walker, came to St. Simon's Island from Hilton Head, by order of General Hunter, to get all the men possible to finish filling his regiment which he had organized in March, 1862. He had heard of the skirmish on this island, and was very much pleased at the bravery shown by these men. He found me at Gaston Bluff teaching my little school, and was much interested in it. When I knew him better I found him to be a thorough gentleman and a staunch friend to my race.

Captain Trowbridge remained with us until October, when the order was received to evacuate, and so we boarded the Ben-De-Ford, a transport, for Beaufort, S. C. When we arrived in Beaufort, Captain Trowbridge and the men he had enlisted went to camp at Old Fort, which they named "Camp Saxton." I was enrolled as laundress. The first suits worn by the boys were red coats and pants, which they disliked very much, for, they said, "The rebels see us, miles away."

The first colored troops did not receive any pay for eighteen months, and the men had to depend wholly on what they received from the commissary, established by General Saxton. A great many of these men had large families, and as they had no money to give them, their wives were obliged to support themselves and children by washing for the officers of the gunboats and the soldiers, and making cakes and pies which they sold to the boys in camp. Finally, in 1863, the government decided to give them half pay, but the men would not accept this. They wanted "full pay" or nothing. They preferred rather to give their services to the state, which they did until 1864, when the government granted them full pay, with all the back pay due." See "On St. Simon's Island - 1862" CHAPTER III, REMINISCENCES OF MY LIFE IN CAMP WITH THE 33RD U.S. COLORED TROOPS, LATE 1ST S.C. VOLUNTEERS

We also have an account from Thomas Wentworth Higginson:

Every Saturday Trowbridge summoned the island people to drill with his soldiers; and they came in hordes, men, women, and children, in every imaginable garb, to the number of one hundred and fifty or two hundred. 

His own men were poorly clothed and hardly shod at all; and, as no new supply of uniform was provided, they grew more and more ragged. They got poor rations, and no pay; but they kept up their spirits. Every week or so some of them would go on scouting excursions to the main-land; one scout used to go regularly to his old mother's hut, and keep himself hid under her bed, while she collected for him all the latest news of rebel movements.

This man never came back without bringing recruits with him. At last the news came that Major-General Mitchell had come to relieve General Hunter, and that Brigadier-General Saxton had gone North; and Trowbridge went to Hilton Head in some anxiety to see if he and his men were utterly forgotten. He prepared a report, showing the services and claims of his men, and took it with him. 
This was early in October, 1862. The first person he met was Brigadier-General Saxton, who informed him that he had authority to organize five thousand colored troops, and that he (Trowbridge) should be senior captain of the first regiment.

This was accordingly done; and Company A of the First South Carolina could honestly claim to date its enlistment back to May, 1862, although they never got pay for that period of their service, and their date of muster was November 15, 1862.

The above facts were written down from the narration of Lieutenant-Colonel Trowbridge, who may justly claim to have been the first white officer to recruit and command colored troops in this war. He was constantly in command of them from May 9, 1862, to February 9, 1866.

Except the Louisiana soldiers mentioned in the Introduction, — of whom no detailed reports have, I think, been published, — my regiment was unquestionably the first mustered into the service of the United States; the first company muster bearing date, November 7, 1862, and the others following in quick succession." See "Army life in a black regiment", by Thomas Wentworth Higginson made available in First African American soldiers strike a blow for freedom as early as 1862

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

African American slave secures Confederate ship for Union in 1862

"The Slave Robert Smalls Steals the Planter," Sons of the South website.
In First African American soldiers strike a blow for freedom as early as 1862, we began to review the book Army Life in a Black Regiment, written by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, commander of The First South Carolina Volunteers.  On his way to Beaufort to take command of his regiment in November of 1862, he passed the shores of Hilton Head where lay gun boats, schooners, and steamers.  One of the steamers was the famous Planter. See page 9.
Robert Smalls "keen navigational skills earned him a job as the pilot of the Confederate gunboat The Planter in March 1861.
Smalls' employer, John Ferguson, paid him $16 a month. Although $15 went to Henry McKee,Smalls was able to earn extra money, "moonlighting" by moving goods for merchants. He was known as an expert pilot, and had studied the maps and sea charts of South Carolina and Georgia. Meanwhile, the fellow slaves aboard The Planter planned their escape to freedom. They chose the able seaman Robert Smalls as their leader." 
See "Robert Smalls, War Hero and Legislator (1839-1915)by Dennis Adams, Information Services Coordinator and Grace Morris Cordial, Historical Resources Coordinator
On May 13, 1863,  Charleston-born slave, Robert Smalls, the captain of the crew and nine other men  including the pilot and engineers took charge of The Planter and navigated past the batteries and forts in the Charleston Harbor, raised the white flag, placing themselves "under the protection of The Stars and Stripes instead of The Stars and Bars." See The Slave Robert Smalls Steals the Planter.

"The following are the names of the black men who performed this gallant and perilous service:  Robert Smalls, pilot, John Smalls and Alfred Gradine, engineers; Abraham Jackson, Gabriel Turno, William Morrison, Samuel Chisholm, Abraham Allston, and David Jones. They brought with them the wife and three children of the pilot, and the wife and sister of the first engineer, John Small. The balance of the party were without families." You can read the entire article at Sons of the South:  The Slave Robert Smalls Steals the Planter.
The article in Harper's Weekly on June 14 of 1862 stated that it was recommended that crew be compensated $20,000 with Robert Small receiving $5000 from the Federal Government.
"Beaufort County Library , SC -- About Robert Smalls (1839-1915)." Beaufort County Library | For Learning. For Leisure. For Life. Web. 05 Jan. 2011. <>.
Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. Army Life in a Black Regiment;. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1900. Google Books.
"The Slave Robert Smalls Steals the Planter."  The Civil War. Son of the South, 2003. Web. 05 Jan. 2011. <>.
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