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FPOC in Civil War

While researching Sylvester Doremus, I have found what appears to have been a close-knit community of black Civil War soldiers and sailors living in New Jersey. Information sources: Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database; 1860-80 census.

African-American Civil War Soldiers & Sailors

Historical documents indicate that Sylvester Doremus was a Civil War veteran of the U.S. Navy. Robert A. Aaron of Rahway, NJ, George A. Sutphen, and Joseph King of Lisbon, Portugal were black sailors who might have known Sylvester Doremus. Like Doremus, King and Sutpen were identified as foreign-born in military records. Doremus, Aaron and Sutphen were all black Landsmen in the Union Navy during the Civil War. Doremus and King both served on the USS Minnesota in 1864. Robert A. Aaron may be related to farm laborer/masonry worker Simon Aaron, a Union army veteran who headed a Westfield, NJ household in which Sylvester and Jane Doremus resided in 1860. Elizabeth and Edward Doremus lived in the Rahway, NJ household of George Suphen (Sutphen), identified as a white locomotive engineer, in 1880. (Two or three black man with the same name also lived in Somerset County, NJ). Joseph King could be a relative of Francis J. King, steward/caterer husband of Julia Houseman, in census years 1870-80, who shared a home with Jane and Titus Doremus in Newark, NJ in 1860. In 1880, Sylvester and Elizabeth Doremus lived in the Rahway, NJ household of John H. Edgar, a Civil War veteran who served with Simon Aaron in the 41st (and/or 45th) Infantry Regiment of USCT, organized in 1864 at Camp William Penn.

Military Record:

*Sylvester Doremus Place of birth—England
Age—30 Complexion—Colored
Occupation—basketmaker/laborer
Height—4’11”

Naval Service
Place of Enlistment—New York
Date of Enlistment—July 23, 1864
Term of Enlistment--3
Rating [rank]—Landsman

Detailed Muster Records
Date & Vessel
Sept 30, 1864 Minnesota
Mar 21, 1865 Albemarle
June 30, 1865 Albemarle

*Sylvester Doremus, Landsman, b. Scotland, also listed on roster of USS Agawam, March 1864-April 1865

Military Record:
Joseph King Place of Birth—Lisbon, Portugal
Age—35 Complexion—Mulatto
Occupation—Sailor
Height—5’8”

Naval Service
Place of Enlistment—Portsmouth, NH
Date of Enlistment—June 10, 1861
Term of Enlistment—1
Rating—Seaman

Detailed Muster Records
Date & Vessel
Sept 30, 1864 Minnesota
Nov 3, 1864 Fahkee
March 31, 1865 Fahkee
August 12, 1865 Sangamon

Military Record:
Robert A. Aaron Birth—Rahway, New Jersey
Age—40 Complexion—Negro
Occupation—None
Height—5’3”

Naval Service
Place of Enlistment—New York
Date of Enlistment—September 19, 1862
Term of Enlistment—1
Rating [rank]—Landsman

Detailed Muster Records
Date & Vessel
Oct 1, 1862 Crusader
Oct 1, 1862 Crusader
March 31, 1863 Crusader
July 31, 1863 Crusader

Military Record:
George A. Sutphen Place of Birth—Martinique
Age—23 Complexion—Negro
Occupation—Farmer Height—5’3”

Naval Service
Place of Enlistment—New York
Date of Enlistment—August 16, 1864
Term of Enlistment—3
Rating—Landsman

Detailed Muster Records
Date & Vessel
April 1, 1865 Camelia
July 1, 1865 Camelia
Oct 1, 1865 Sabine

41st Infantry Regiment, USCT, Company A, Pennsylvania Volunteers

Aaron, Simon
Sergeant
Mustered into service—Sept. 3, 1864
Discharged—Sept 30, 1865 (expiration of term)

Edgar, John H.
Private
Mustered into service—Sept. 3, 1864
Discharged—Sept 30, 1865 (expiration of term)


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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