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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum

Black Civil War Veterans in New Jersey

African-American Civil War Soldiers & Sailors

Historical documents (1860-1880 census; Civil War Soldiers & Sailors Database) indicate that farm laborer/gardener Sylvester Doremus of Westfield and Rahway, NJ was a Civil War veteran of the U.S. Navy. Robert A. Aaron of Rahway, NJ and Joseph King of Lisbon, Portugal were black sailors who might have known Sylvester Doremus. Aaron, like Doremus, was a black Landsman in the Union Navy during the Civil War. Doremus and King both served on the USS Minnesota in 1864. Robert A. Aaron is probably related to farm laborer/masonry worker Simon Aaron, head of a Westfield, NJ household in which Sylvester and Jane Doremus resided in 1860. 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 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
Complexion—Colored Age—30
Occupation—basketmaker/laborer Height—4’11”
Naval Service
Place of Enlistment—New York Term of Enlistment—3 years
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 19, 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


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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