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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Enigmas, missing pieces and orphan information

To all readers of this board-

Anyone doing serious research of any type will come across many gaps in information, teasers that tell of other documents, and leads that go nowhere.

My research on the USCT and the Regular Army that followed has many of these. If there is anyone out there that can shed light on even one of these it will be most humbly and gratefully accepted.

1. In either late Oct. or Nov, 1865 (the two small pieces I have give differing dates) the Steamer Niagara was struck by the Steamer Post Boy, on the Mississippi and sank. Among the passengers were a number of returning USCT who were riding on deck. The information I have says there were minimal casualties among the regular passengers and crew, but somewhere between 75 and 100 USCT died. I can find no other information among Military records (Army and Navy), Postal Service (the Post Boy was most likely a mail ship, but this is not certain either)newspapers, etc. So-lots of questions-is there a casualty list SOMEWHERE, what regiments/companies were involved, where were the burials, are there individual references in military records-which I can't access without having names....etc. I found over a hundred steamships/steamers/steam-driven paddlewheels, etc. but none were the right one.

2. The Steamer Wm. Butler was impounded and all on board were arrested by military personnel for the murder of a soldier of the 80th USCT, about the 21st of March, 1866. The ship was released a few days later, but about 35 crew members remained under arrest.
So far, I have come up short in finding details of any investigation, name of the soldier, names of the accused, or other information on the alleged murder.

3. On April 1st, 1866, a Black soldier bayoneted a White man by the name of Robert Boss in Macon Georgia. No other details as yet.

4. In the end of January, 1866, James S. Roberts, of Yazoo County, Mississippi was hung, executed for the killing of a "colored soldier" sometime in October, 1865.

5. Brazos, Santiago, Texas. LOTS of questions here. MANY of the records are missing for this military depot. Especially during the late 1865-early 1866 period. Black troops from several regiments stationed here in that period-among them, 36th Inf., 1st Cavalry. Many of the death records are signed by a T. W. Willoughby. Searches of military records have come up empty. I assume this person had something to do with either the hospital or disposition/documentation. He is not a Surgeon, and can find no record under enlisted men. Men from this post were in the last battle of the war at White's and Palmetto Ranches two months after the surrender. The post suffered major hurricane damage in 1867 and was abandoned. If you have any ancestors who served here, please let me know-and especially if you have letters, pension records or other documentation that speaks about any of the people, conditions, and service at this location, I will be eternally grateful. There is a tremendous amount of information that seems to be deliberately missing, even among the military records. (And we all know how anal the army was about redundancy in records)Pension support documents are especially useful-the kind that say things like....I have known Pvt.........ever since.....he has suffered from chronic rheumatism/dysentery (enter disease of choice) ever since we (enter activity) .......during the blizzard/rain/scorching heat of.......because they give me a frame of reference-time, other people who were players, whose records can be checked-it all helps.

These are just a few-I have LOTS more (unfortunately)and maybe I have pieces to add to your orphans. Lets all help each other.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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