banner

AFRICAN AMERICANS FROM BALTIMORE COUNTY WHO SERVED IN THE CIVIL WAR


louis Diggs
Author: Louis Diggs

Out of the nine books that I have spent God only know how many hours of research time on since 1990, digging up information on the forty Baltimore County designated 40 historic African American enclaves in the County trying to let the citizens know that we, as African Americans, have been residing in the County for as long as the County has been in existence, albeit that for generations we existed as slaves, but we prevailed. Although our history was non-existence of skimpy, these nine books stand tall to prove that we prevailed.
 
I call my book that was published in January 2015 the 10th book on African American life in Baltimore County only because the 9th book dealt with the history of an all-African American military unit of the Maryland National Guard that contained African Americans from Baltimore City primarily, but included such men from the areas surrounding Baltimore City, especially Baltimore County.

The unit was called the “Monumental City Guards” that existed in 1879 as a “semi-military” organization that militarily competed with like African American units like the “Baltimore Rifles,” and several other totally African Americans. In 1882 these semi-military organizations were so good at their military skills, the Maryland National Guard decided to inspect them, found them well qualified to serve in the Guard, but only as “Separate Companies.” The “Monumental City Guards” became one of these companies, completely staffed with African American officers and enlisted men, organized exactly as all other units within the Guard, and they served as an Infantry unit.

It ended up that only the “Monumental City Guards” remained with the Guard, and was then called “The First Separate Company.” This unit was ordered to active duty during the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, and was the only Maryland National Guard unit ordered to active duty in 1950 to support the Korean War; by then, the unit was converted to the 231st Transportation Truck Battalion with three truck companies. They were still segregated as an all-African American unit, commanded by an African American Lt. Colonel (Vernon F. Green), with all African American Officers and enlisted men.

I served in the Korean War with the 726th Transportation Truck Company with the Battalion (231st) Headquarters, and of all the thousands of United States National Guard units that supported the Korean War, my company was the very first National Guard unit to arrive in Korea in December 1950. Not many people are aware of the history of this organization and the contributions they made during various wars, so I decided to write the history of the organization, which was my 9th book, “Forgotten Road Warriors.” My 10th book, “African Americans From Baltimore County Who Served in the Civil War,” contains a tremendous amount of information about the slaves and freed slaves, some who ran away from their owners to serve in the Civil War as one way to escape from slavery and other freed slaves who also saw this as an opportunity to show the country of their patriotism by fighting for the country who once held them in slavery.

The reader will learn about the thousands of African Americans who throughout the country who went to the assistance of a country that held them in bondage, and specifically about the over 400 African Americans from Baltimore County, information that otherwise might never be known. Information such as their names, their owner’s name, about their families, about the battles they participated in, and bear in mind that the six Regiments of United States Colored Troops (USCT) that were formed in Maryland were not assigned to service units, but to infantry units where, like the White troops. For African American families whose ancestors came from Baltimore County, this book will be a treasure trove. And, people whose ancestors came from various counties near Baltimore County should know that Cecil, Harford, Carroll, Frederick and Howard Counties were all created from parts or all of Baltimore County, plus Baltimore City annexed land from Baltimore County in 1888 and again in 1918.

This 10th book is so packed with information that it contains just about a ream of paper (294 pages), which is far too many, but at my age (82), I could not trust myself to do two separate pages because I am wary of not being here to write two separate books. As an African American male, I know I have exceeded the normal life expectancy, and I do not wish to take any of the information I have gleaned on African American life and experience in Baltimore County. To assist the readers of the book, included in the book is the complete U. S. Census Report of Baltimore County of 1860 of only all free African Americans residing in the County which is hoped to assist in locating families of those African Americans who served in the Civil War.

 

Here are some examples of the type of information on African Americans from Baltimore County who served in the Civil War in my book:
Banks, Peter
Age: 24 Born: Baltimore County
Occupation: Farmer
Enlisted: August 11, 1863
Where: Baltimore, MD
Company: F
Hospitalized on July 15, 186(year not noted) at Post Hospital, New Berne, NC. Diagnosis: Intermittent Fever. Hospital #276 notes he resided in Baltimore County and next of kin was Jacob Boules who resided in Baltimore County His name appeared in the Sun Paper, May 23, 1863 as a runaway slave. He was owned by Joshua Worthington from Baltimore County, who manumitted him
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harris, George
Age: 39 Born: Baltimore County (On Winters Lane in Catonsville)
Occupation: Farmer Enlisted March 31, 1864 for three years
Where: Baltimore, MD Company D
Appointed Sergeant, March 31, 1864 Was wounded in action during the battle at “The Crater” Was a free person on April 19, 1861 Is laid to rest in his family cemetery (Harris Family Cemetery) on Winters Lane extended in Catonsville, MD
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Johnson, Lewis,
A slave from Baltimore County who enlisted in the 7th USCT Regiment in Baltimore, MD on September 26, 1863 and assigned to Company D. He was reported missing in action while engaged in action at Chapin’s Farm in VA on September 29, 1864. The Memorandum from his Prisoner of War Record notes he was captured and confined at Richmond, VA, then sent to Salisbury, MD on November 24, 1864. He died there on February 15, 1865. He was a slave owned by Mary Window from Baltimore County.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
nichols  
Most likely a photograph of Alexander T. Augustus, an African American Surgeon assigned to the 7th USCT Regiment. He was a brevet Lieutenant Colonel. Born in Virginia in 1825 and educated in Canada, he became the first African American medical officer in the US Army. While on a train that stopped in Baltimore, Maryland, he was singled out while wearing his uniform and attacked by White men.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mckim
McKim’s US General Hospital, later Patterson US General Hospital that was located in Patterson Park, Baltimore Maryland. African American soldiers received medical service there.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
aldrigde
1st Sergeant Taylor B. Aldridge in dress uniform