Monday, February 24, 2020

43rd USCI Casualties on October 27, 1864

About three years ago I shared the stories of a couple of 43rd United States Colored Infantry (USCI) soldiers who were killed fighting near Hatcher's Run on October 27, 1864. This coordinated movement by the Union army to try to capture the Boydton Plank Road, and if possible the Southside Railroad, involved three corps (II, V, IX). The IX Corps included Gen. Edward Ferraro's Division, in which the 43rd USCI fought.

The two men who I covered in those posts, Company A's Pvt. Joseph Gatewood and Company B's  Pvt. Joseph Crossman, were both killed in the fighting. Gatewood's service records indicate that he was born in Alabama (likely formerly enslaved), and Crossman's show he was a freeman of color from Maine. I was interested in learning more about some of the other men killed, wounded, and missing in the October 27, 1864 action, so I dove into their service records.

Pushing from east to west, and skirmishing against Confederates across the Smith farm (see bottom center of map), several men fell in the fighting. In Richmond Must Fall: The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October 1864, historian Hampton Newsome notes that 28 men from the 43rd USCI became casualties. While looking through the service records of some of the other men who I was able to identify, I was surprised by the diversity of their origins. Knowing that the 43rd USCI was raised in Pennsylvania, I assumed that they were pretty much all free men of color. That was not necessarily the case.

Of course, their self-emancipation and enlistment in the Keystone State meant that they were free at the time they were mustered in, but many of the men were born in various slave states and thus were likely enslaved before making their way north.

Below is a list of the men (in addition Pvt. Gatewood and Pvt. Crossman) that I was able to find in a limited search and who were killed, wounded, or missing in action on October 27. If I am able to locate more in the future I will amend the list and hopefully find all 28 that Newsome noted.

Company A:
Pvt. Henry Hopkins, wounded in action, 21 years old at enlistment, substitute, born in Canada

Company B:
Sgt. James A. Anderson, wounded in action (through the left knee), 22 years old at enlistment, born in Chester County, Pennsylvania

Pvt. Richard Edmonds, wounded in action (through left hand), 20 years old at enlistment, born in New Orleans, Louisiana

Pvt. Edward Stewart, wounded in action (in both thighs), 19 years old at enlistment, born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania

Pvt. Edward Stephney, wounded in action (in right arm), 37 years old at enlistment, born in Frankfort, Kentucky

Pvt. Thomas McPherson Winfield, wounded in action (through left instep), 25 years old at enlistment, born in West Indies

Company D:
Pvt. Reuben Pollett, wounded in action (right forearm & right lower leg), 18 years old at enlistment, born in Virginia

Company G:
Pvt. William Lewis, mortally wounded in action (died Oct. 28), 33 years old at enlistment, born in Virginia

Pvt. Richard Notts, mortally wounded in action (died Oct. 31) "amputation of left forearm," 19 years old at enlistment, born in Glouster, Maryland

Company H:
Pvt. Asa Augburn, killed in action ("bullet wound in the head"), 24 years old at enlistment, born in Montgomery County, Tennessee

Pvt. Jacob Hues, "missing in action near Smith home," 19 years old at enlistment, born in Fayette County, Kentucky

Company I:
Pvt. Jeremiah "Jerry" Myers, wounded in action "amputation of right index finger," 19 years old at enlistment, born in Virginia

White Officers:
2nd Lt. James Roantree, Company A, killed in action "musket ball in the head," 21 years old

1st Lt. William Palmer, Company C, wounded in action

Capt. Joseph Forbes, Company E, wounded in action, 29 years old

1st Lt. Moses Sawyer, Company G, wounded in action left lower leg, 32 years old

No comments:

Post a Comment