Black Virginians in Blue

A Black Soldier from Charlottesville Writes to Lincoln

Confined at the headquarters of the 2nd U.S. Colored Infantry on November 15, 1864, Commissary Sergeant James T. S. Taylor put pen to paper to write President Abraham Lincoln a letter asking for release.  “In Jestification to my self I cannot help from Appealing to you for some assistance under existing Circumstances,” wrote Taylor.  “I should have Refrained from Acquainting your Distinguished honor and high Abilities with this affair, but as I enlisted in the u.s.

UVA Today on Black Virginians in Blue

James T. S. Taylor's Widow's Pension

UVA Today writer Matt Kelly has just published a summary of the research the Nau Center has conducted as part of its Black Virginians in Blue digital project. While we have done a thorough search of online and archival resources and have found more than 240 African American men from Albemarle County, Virginia, who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT), we still have a substantial amount of work to process hundreds of service and pension records into our project database.

From Carter’s Mountain to Morganza Bend

Note:  What follows is a three part story, which we will present in consecutive blog posts, that permits us to see the history of central Virginia in a new way:  with a focus on the journeys of African American men, born in the shadow of Jefferson’s Monticello, who fought for the Union army in the Civil War.  These men represent the Virginia roots of thousands of U.S.C.T. soldiers, men who were dispersed by the system of slavery and then converged, during the war, in black regiments, and fought to save the Union and to end slavery.


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