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Walker & James Edward GOINS
In Response To: Submit away Robert! ()

During the waning sunlit, muggy hours, seconds and moments of August eighteen and sixty-four, two colored men from Belmont County, Ohio joined the Union Army. They joined because colored men were finally allowed to join after Abraham Lincoln and his generals found out that these colored gentlemen could help swing victory in the direction of the Union. Walker and his brother James Edward Goins, "officially" volunteered with the Union Army of the United States of America because they knew the stakes were exceedinly high; and yet the feeling of going off to fight in a Civil War-- any war in the United States-- must have been the most frightening prospect for a colored man in this country during a period when colored men had few if any civil rights and or protections enumerated the United States Constitution.

According to the eighteen and sixty Belmont County, Ohio census, Walker was twenty-one. He humbly began his military career in the fifth regiment of Ohio and finished his duty in the 101st U.S. Federal troops. James who lived with his parents Michael and Verlinda Goins was, according to another sheet in the Belmont County, Ohio census, fourteen years old. He served in the seventeenth regiment of and from the Buckeye State. These brothers, born in Ohio, Walker circa eighteen and thirty-eight and the younger James Edward, circa eighteen and forty-six took on this duty and fought on the front lines of Tennessee. Although the War of the Rebellion officallly began with canonballs flying in and over Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the first major battle took place in Virginia at "First Manassass or First Bull Run in the seventh month and twenty-first day of eighteen and sixty and still Tennessee was an important battle front.

The Confederate Army won that first battle at Manassass. They also lost many battles. The Union Army took many causalities as well. It looked like draw in the early stages of the conflict. It was a bloody battle right down to the last shot. Each side had to figure a way to out maneuver the opponent in the tug of Civial War. One method the Union planned to use to out maneuver its Southern counterpart involved enlisting the services of colored people who might become troops. It is as though Abraham Lincoln and his generals used the same move Lord Dunmore, who was the British governor of Virginia during her colonlial period, used when the upstart Americans decided to declare themselves independent of the crown in the late seventeen hundreds.

Walker and James were two of a multituded of colored volunteers who made the sacrifice of life, limb and family during America's hour internal restlessness. The eldest of these two brothers took Mary Jackson Curry as his wife before leaving and their home in Barnesville. James, the younger of the two brothers, was about to turn eighteen. This is the ripe old age of young men when military units try to increase, almost swell its ranks with soldiers. According to his pension, Walker married Mary Jackson-Curry " in the year of Our Lord eighteen and fifty-nine." The nuptials, again according to Walker's pension, took place in the fair county of Belmont. The same county where Walker and James' parents Michael and Verlinda, married in during the late spring of eighteen and thirty-five. Michael and Verlinda, former Virginians resided, in this county which sits next to the vulernable Ohio River.


P.S. All photographs taken by GOINS

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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