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January 1, 1864: Parker Robbins of Bertie County, a free person of color of mixed African and Native American descent, enlisted in the 2nd United State Colored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Monroe, Va.

January Parker Robbins of Bertie County, a free person of color of mixed African and Native American descent, enlisted in the United State Colored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Monroe, Va.

Corp. Henry Gaither. "One of the few free men of color in this book when the war began, Gaither and his regiment, the 39th U.S. Colored Infantry, fought as hard as any white organization in the Union army," writes Coddington. "This is one of my favorite images in the book."  From African American Faces of the Civil War by Ron Coddington

African-American Faces Of The Civil War

A free man of color, he and his regiment, the U. Colored Infantry, fought as hard as any white organization in the Union army," writes Coddington. "This is one of my favorite images in the book.

Bynum Colbert born 1850 in Kiamitia County, Choctaw Nation was a Choctaw Freeman. He served as a US Deputy Marshal for Judge Isaac Parker out of Fort Smith, Arkansas working the Oklahoma Territory.

The sadness in his eyes. Bynum Colbert born 1850 in Kiamitia County, Choctaw Nation was a Choctaw Freeman. He served as a US Deputy Marshal for Judge Isaac Parker out of Fort Smith, Arkansas working the Oklahoma Territory.

THE COLORED MAGAZINE The Colored American was a name used by two 19th-century weekly African-Americannewspapers: one that was published in New York City from 1836 to 1842 by Samuel Cornish, Phillip Bell, and Charles Bennett Ray, and one that was published in Washington, D.C., from 1893 to 1904. by Edward Elder Cooper

This was one of the first monthly magazines created for the national African American consumer. Published and circulated in Boston, Mass. and New York City until the Colored American Magazine did for nine years in the what Ebony Magazine is doing today.

Studio portrait of African American officer and woman, Company D, 25th United States Infantry Regiment "Buffalo Soldiers", Fort Custer, Mont...

Studio portrait of African American officer and woman, Company D, United States Infantry Regiment "Buffalo Soldiers", Fort Custer, Mont.

Uniform of Abraham Jefferies: African American Private of L Company 6th Mass Volunteers in the Spanish American War. The 6th was a racially integrated regiment--the only one of it's time.   (Idea for "Abraham Jeffries" in FORTITUDE came from this picture.)

African American Private of L Company Mass Volunteers in the Spanish American War. The was a racially integrated regiment--the only one of it's time. (Uniform for "Abraham Jeffries" in FORTITUDE.

Black soldiers of the Army of the James near Aiken's Landing, VA, Nov. 1864. Library of Congress.

A group of five soldiers appear on the right side of the photograph. Three wear forage caps and two wear slouch hats. They all seem to be well equipped like their comrades. A white fence runs behind them and a barrel rests near.

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