Tuesday, July 6, 2021

"Our Colored Soldiers"


 As you can see from my recent posts, I've been digging into the newspaper archive again. There is so much rich stuff waiting to be found, it just takes a good deal of curiosity, time, patience, and sometimes luck, to locate the gems. 

The above article appeared in the October 19, 1864, issue of the Lewistown Gazette (PA). This story included a couple of things that I found interesting. 

First, it included several names of soldiers from, or had ties to, the Lewistown area. Fortunately, it got some of the information incorrect in terms of the men killed during the Battle of New Market Heights. Newspapers of the day often rushed information to press and sometimes got things wrong, so when possible, it is always a good point to double check against other sources.

Pvt. David Criswell, Co. H, 6th USCI, was in fact killed in action.

Pvt. George Anderson, Co. E, 22nd USCI, was not wounded. 

Pvt. Walker Stills, Co. F, 22nd USCI, was not wounded.

Pvt. Joseph Patterson, Co. E, 6th USCI, was not wounded.

Pvt. William Snowden, Co. K, 6th USCI, was wounded.

Pvt. Abe Patterson, Co. F, 22nd USCI, was not wounded.

Pvt. Peter Johnson, Co. B, 6th USCI, was killed in action.

Corp. Charles Miller, Co. G, 6th USCI, was wounded.

Second, I found it rather progressive (and refreshing) for a newspaper of that day to share the ending of the article: "We commend their fate to sundry men, women, girls and boys in this town who cannot see a colored person on the street without uttering a low-bred remark as mean as it is cowardly. They may think themselves 'smart' in doing so, but forget when they do it they are not lowering the negro, but themselves."

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