Rikers Island's 26th U.S. Colored Troops on parade

26th USCT Regiment, that mustered in & trained on Rikers, parades at Camp Wm. Penn, Pa.
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Background Story of 'Too Small' Image of 26th USCT on Parade

Before www.CorrectionHistory.Org came into existence, several NYC DOC's pages on the city government's official web site focused on the history of the correctional agency and its facilities. One of those pages reported on how, before becoming major bases of NYC Correction operations, Rikers and Hart Islands had served as military bases for, among others, 4,000+ African-American soldiers in the Civil War. They formed New York State's only three regiments in what was formally called the United States Colored Troops (USCT): the 20th, 26th and 31st. To help illustrate the web story, use was made of a National Archives photo of the 26th USCT on parade at Camp William Penn, Pa.

Most web users in the era when that page was first put together accessed the Internet via dial-up connections. For that reason the municipal web site's general guidelines called for its images to be kept relatively small and relatively few per page. A page with images "too large" or with "too many" images took longer to download, thus increasing the web visitor's phone bill and decreasing said visitor's patience and interest in viewing a page "heavy" with graphics.
26th USCT image "too small" for so many.

The 5 x 1.6 inches size (immediately above) of the 26th USCT parade image used on the late 1990s NYC DOC web page telling the unit's Rikers Island-connected history was not up to the pictorial challenge of depicting its 1000+ troop size. Click the top-of-the-page image to access an interactive 14 x 10 inches version. Use your browser's "back" button to return.
So the 26th USCT parade image was kept to about 10K (5 x 1.6 inches, 72 dpi). See that image left.

When www.CorrectionHistory.Org came into existence in the late 1990s, nearly all of NYC DOC's history web pages migrated to it, including the one with the 26th USCT parade image. Since those keep-images-small days of web page creation, technological advancements -- cable and wireless connections, faster transmission rates, greater working memory and digital storage capacities -- have enabled more and bigger images to be used.

Thus, NYCHS can post not only the uncropped version of the 26th USCT parade image at the top of the page (8.9 x 6.5 inches, 192K, 72 dpi) but also can make available an interactive and still larger version (14 x 10 inches, 33 Mbs, 288 dpi).

The version that emerges from clicking on the top-of-the-page image can be zoomed and panned using the mouse's wheel or the mouse's left button. With the pointer on the image, hold the left button down to drag (pan) the image. Or use the on-screen zoom and pan tools just below the interactive image. When finished exploring the image, click your browser's "back" button to return.

Presentation of 26th USCT Colors

26th USCT's national flag.

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26th's regimental banner.

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When the 26th USCT completed drilling on Rikers Island and was about to depart for action in the South, the regiment was presented with its colors. The banner is a one-sided blue silk, featuring a gold embroidered oak wreath encircling the old English letters "US" over the Roman words "Colored Troops". The motto reads "God and Liberty." The silk national flag includes 35 embroidered stars and an embroidered designation, “26th Regt. U.S. Colored Troops,” along its center red stripe.

According to New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs text accompanying its images of the 26th USCT colors (see immediately above, left & right), a severe rainstorm prevented a grand flag presentation scheduled for March 26, 1864.

The regiment received its colors, prepared by the Ladies of New York, in a less formal ceremony the following day, Easter Sunday.

The event took place aboard the steamer Warrior, lying in the North River (the Hudson) at the foot of Warren Street. The presentation was made by John Jay, grandson of Founding Father John Jay (for whom CUNY's college of criminal justice is named).

Broadside of 26th USCT colors presentation text.

Clicking the above image accesses a readable digital copy of an 1864 broadside (news poster) giving the prepared remarks of Union League president John Jay and Col. Silliman at the 26th USCT colors presentation. The image was derived from one on the NYS Library's web site.
The Jays (father, son and grandson) were leading abolitionists of their eras.

The grandson was long-time president of NY's Union League, a sponsor of the state's three USCT regiments.

He relinquished the position when he accepted appointment by President Grant as minister to the Court of Vienna.

Colonel William Silliman, under whom the 26th mustered in and trained on Rikers Island, accepted the colors from Mr. Jay.

In prepared remarks, the colonel declared:

“Fair Ladies, I cannot tell you how dear to us will be this banner, the gift of loyal women of the North.

"We love it, not chiefly for its rare and costly beauty, but for what is beyond all price and more glorious than beauty.”

As more than a thousand of his fellow uniformed African Americans aboard the steamer watched and cheered, the regiment's only black commissioned officer, Chaplain Benjamin Franklin Randolph, accepted on behalf of the unit a silk banner from Vincent Colyer, the Union League's superintendent of recruitment for its sponsored USCTs, of which the 26th was the second.

The 20th had been the first; the 31st would be the third.

The banner bore the words "Unconditional Loyalty -- To the Soldiers of the 26th United States Colored Troops -- From Their Friends."

Visiting Chaplain to Rikers' USCTs

Two days later (March 28th, 1864), Union League officials met with members of the Shiloh Presbyterian Church, an African American congregation in Manhattan, to hold a tribute to the 26th USCT. The main speaker was the Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, a volunteer visiting chaplain to the USCTs on Rikers Island.

Some interesting details about Rev. Garnet and about the military, political and societal context in which he rendered service to Rikers Island's USCTs can be found in a biographical sketch written by Dr. James McCune Smith. The bio sketch served as an introduction in a book containing a discourse given Feb. 12, 1865, by Rev. Garnet in the House of Representatives. He was the first black minister to preach at the U.S. Capitol. Here are a few excerpts from Dr. Smith's bio notes about Rev. Garnet:

26th's chaplain, Benjamin Franklin Randolph.

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Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, visiting chaplain to Rikers I.

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On the breaking out of the rebellion, [the Rev. Henry Highland Garnet] called upon our young men to take up arms; and as soon as the government decided to receive colored troops, he volunteered as Chaplain to the colored troops on Riker's Island, under the auspices of the Union Loyal League Club. He served in this capacity until the 20th, 26th, and 31st Regiments of United States Colored Troops marched to the field. During this time, without interruption of his pastoral duties, he organized a Ladies' Committee for the Aid of Sick Soldiers, and established a hospital kitchen on Riker's Island.

At first, there were difficulties . . . The runners kidnapped boys and old men, cripples and maimed, and by collusion with the proper officers, forced them to Riker's Island. Here the sutlers charged 50 cents for a cup of coffee, a dollar for a canteen of water; in the cold month of February they were thrust into old and worn cotton tents, compelled to sleep on the earth without even a camp-stool. How these difficulties were met and overcome is told in the Report of the Committee on Recruiting of the Union League Club. p. 38.

"These three things—the public meetings in colored churches, attended in person by members of the Committee; the printing of circulars, with the names of distinguished colored men, side by side with those of the Committee; and the employing of the able and faithful friend of their race, Rev. Mr. Garnet, to visit Riker's Island and hear the complaints of the recruits and getting General Dix to right them, soon secured the confidence of the colored people in our patriotic enterprise . . . .

Dr. James McCune Smith.

Click image to access Black History Month slide show elsewhere on this site. See Slide 11 for more on Dr. Smith who authored the Rev. Garnet bio sketch quoted here. House physician at the Colored Orphans Asylum, one of the NYC Commissioners of Correction and Public Charities' various facilities, Dr. Smith was the first black doctor in U.S. to have been professionally trained at and receive a degree from a recognized medical school (University of Glasgow in Scotland). On Manhattan's West Broadway, he opened the first black pharmacy in the U.S. See Slides 10 - 18 for more USCT-related info. Use browser's "back" button to return.
Composite of Vincent Colyer report title page.

Click image to access 18 pages excerpted by NYCHS from the 56-page Google Books version of a report by Rikers & Hart Islands USCT recruiter Colyer on his running NYS' free hostel (depot) for Union soldiers recently mustered out or about to become so. Subjects touched upon include matters relating to Hart Island and the 20th USCT, his ending racial segregation of white and black soldiers using the depot, and an entry for the City Prison (Tombs) chaplain offering Sunday services. The report was addressed to Gov. Reuben E. Fenton. Each of the 18 pages has been excerpted whole; some in sequence, some not, but each contains of one or more items of particular interest. Use browser "back" button to return. Go to Google Books for full volume.
Among the volunteers enlisting were men from the British West India Islands, Hayti, Canada, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and the West; but the majority were found the respectable, industrious and hard-working classes of our own State and city. And as colored soldiers were a new feature in the war, their march to and from headquarters through the streets of the city, created quite a sensation. Occasional signs of disrespect were noticed, but much oftener they were greeted with hearty approbation."

"Hearty approbation!" In the streets of New York, in February, 1864; what a wide contrast to what occurred in these same streets only seven months before, in July, 1863. Well might it have been said to the colored people

"God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform." To have been mobbed, hunted down, beaten to death, hung to the lamp-posts or trees, burned, their dwellings sacked and destroyed, their orphan children turned homeless from their comfortable shelter which was destroyed by fire, and then, within a few months to be cheered along the same streets, are occurrences whose happening put ordinary miracles in the shade; the first, more hideous than hell; the last, one which might be, and was smiled on by heaven. . . .

26th USCT Commanding Officer Killed

The 26th USCT served under the Department of the South (Union Army) in South Carolina and was very active in military engagements at Johns and James Island, Honey Hill, Beaufort, and a number of other locations.

Two officers and 28 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, and 3 officers and 112 enlisted died from disease.

Overall, more than twice as many soldiers -- Union and Confederate -- died from disease during the civil War than from combat wounds. Perhaps half of the disease deaths were from intestinal disorders such as typhoid fever, diarrhea, and dysentery. The rest died from respiratory illness, mainly pneumonia and tuberculosis. Ultimately, more than shot and shell, the chief killer in the Civil War was the filthy condition of the military camps fostering the spread of the contagious diseases.

One of the 26th USCT's two officers killed as a result of actual combat was Col. Silliman.

Canterbury Presbyterian Church, Cornwall.

This church and its parsonage were "home" to the 26th USCT's first commanding officer, William C. Silliman. Since 1996 the church -- built in 1826 -- has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The last services in it were held Feb. 5, 2004. It is now a community resource.
William C. Silliman was as born in Canterbury, N.Y. (now the village of Cornwall) on Oct. 18, 1837, the only child of the Rev. Jonathan Silliman and his wife Anna.

Jonathan was pastor from 1835-61 of the Canterbury Presbyterian Church situated in downtown Cornwall.

Pastor Silliman was an abolitionist and also considered by some rather strict, both factors figuring in a split within the congregation and the formation in 1856 of the Cornwall Presbyterian Church.

William C. attended Albany Law School. Founded in 1851, Albany Law School is the nation's oldest independent school of law.

Silliman graduated 1858. In 1860 he enlisted in the 7th NYS Cavalry at Troy, mustering in as a 1st Lieutenant of Company D. He mustered into the 124th N.Y. Infantry as a Captain and Adjutant on July 16th, 1862.

The 124th was called the "Orange Blossoms" because they were raised in Orange Country, N.Y. On Feb. 1, 1864 he was promoted to Colonel and accepted the color flag for the newly-formed Unites States Colored Infantry, 26th division.

Colonel William C. Silliman died on December 17, 1864 of wounds he received in action at Georgia Farms, S.C., according to research by James F. Leiner, history writer for the Nyack Villager, a monthly newspaper in Rockland County, N.Y.

26th USCT's Other Commanding Officer

The 26th USCT was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Col. William B. Guernsey of Norwich, Chenango County, NY, August 28, 1865.

The Guernsey Homestead.

Erected in 1799, the Guernsey Homestead was not only the oldest house, but was also the first frame house built in Norwich. Judged no longer safe, the homestead-become-library was razed in 1967.
The Guernseys (under various spellings of the name) were a founding family of Norwich, donating first land and later their homestead to the community.

William Bellamy Guernsey (Nov. 28, 1828 -- July 20, 1898) had varied facets to his character. He was a man of both letters and action, of both law and mechanics, of both business and politics.

A graduate of Troy Polytechnic Institute, he also studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1852. He first served in the Civil War as a Captain in the 89th Regiment.

On Jan. 30, 1864 he was appointed as a Lieutenant-Colonel of the 26th U. S. Colored Infantry. He was promoted to Colonel June 18, 1865 and mustered out with his regiment Aug. 28, 1865.

William, owner of various mills in the Norwich area, was also an inventor. He received a patent in October 1870 for an electric/telegraph burglar alarm that would work even if the intruder cut the wires. Bronson & Company Agents in New York City manufactured and marketed it. He also came up with a better way to pack and ship butter.

1876 presidential candidate Peter Cooper

The above image of a campaign piece for the Greenback Party's 1876 nominee for President can be found on the Peter Cooper bio page of Dr. Robert E. Buxbaum's web site. Click image for larger version. Use browser's enlarge (+) option to expand. Click "back" button to return.
In 1885, William B. Guernsey was the Greenback-Labor party's candidate for attorney general.

His candidacy was more a way of his taking a stand on issues of the era than an attempt to actually win public office.

The Greenback Party, founded in Indianapolis on Nov. 25, 1874, was originally the Independent Party. A populist movement, the party enjoyed some success at winning offices in farming and mining communities. It helped elect more than 20 members of Congress.

Its first presidential candidate (1876) was NYC's great 19th Century benefactor, Peter Cooper -- inventor, industrialist, philanthropist, opponent of slavery, supporter of labor and prison reforms. He polled about 80,000 votes nationally. (More on Peter Cooper can be found elsewhere on this web site.)

Greenback-Labor was generally against bank and rail monopolies and gold-based currency.

It was for easier credit, farm-friendly policies, and a progressive income tax.

It demanded abolition of both convict and child labor.

It insisted on reduced working hours and installation of occupational safety measures for workers.

By 1885, the party had passed its zenith and was not expected to elect the top of its ticket George O. Jones running for NYS governor.

Democrat David B. Hill won that spot with 501,465 votes to Republican Ira Davenport's 490,331 and Prohibitionist Henry Clay Bascom's 30,867. Against such tallies, the Greenbacker Jones' 2,130 showed that the party was not a factor in the outcome.

The Guernsey Memorial Library.

The current library was built on the same site as the razed homestead and dedicated March 8, 1969.
Guernsey and his wife, Jane Madelia (Maydole), a childless couple, both set high priority on education. It was their wish that their house become “The Guernsey Homestead Memorial Library” and public park.

William died July 20, 1898, in Norwich.

The Guernsey Homestead was not only the oldest house, but was also the first frame house built in Norwich. Erected in 1799, it was bought by Peter B. Garnsey in 1804. In 1807 when Peter and one of his neighbors donated two acres of land for the court house, jail and parks, the Garnsey House was moved to a site nearby. There was occupied by the family until 1901 when it became public property by the terms of the will of Mrs. William B. Guernsey. The legal title to the property was passed on to the Board of Education of Union Free School District Number One of the Town of Norwich.

These terms stated "That they shall take and forever keep and maintain the property known as the Guernsey Homestead. . . For the establishment and maintenance of a free public library and park. . . . "

In 1967 the Guernsey Homestead was razed because the house was no longer structurally safe. The current library was built on the same site and dedicated March 8, 1969. The nearby park was dedicated on August 1, 1982.

26th USCT Hospital Steward: African American Pioneer Physician

While both Rikers Island USCT regiments, the 20th and 26th, had African Americans serving as commissioned chaplains, respectively George W. LeVere and Benjamin F. Randolph, neither regiment had an African American serving as a commissioned physician.
Union hospital steward half-chevron.

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But the 26th did have an African American doctor serving as a "hospital steward."

The 1860 federal census of Gallipolis, Ohio, listed the occupation of a black male, 36, Noah Elliott, as that of physician. But since a common practice among USCT regiments was to assign commission ranks to black volunteers from the clergy and the medical profession, the fact that the 26th USCT roster listed Elliott as hospital steward and not surgeon, suggests that, while his doctoring experience was somewhat recognized, it was not regarded as sufficient to warrant designation as regimental surgeon.

This may have reflected prejudice on the part of those making decisions in assigning ranks. Or it may have reflected that Dr. Elliott's pre-USCT medical experience possibly fell more into the category of alternative medicine: home potions, spiritual remedies, psychological cures.

An account in a 1910 journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, (pages 680-683 inclusive), even if heavily discounted, given the publication's perspective and the author's evident condescending attitude, at least promps consideration whether Dr. Elliott's diagnostic practices may have included somewhat unorthodox approaches. The article's author thought him a clairvoyant.

A more straight-forward rendition of Dr. Elliott's medical career can be found in Chapter 9: Pioneer African-American Physicians of Stories of Medicine in Athens County, Ohio, a multi-authored anthology compiled and edited by Gary E Cordingley, MD, PhD. Co-authored by Cordingley and Carl Jon Denbow, it reads in part:

Dr. Elliott's home in Athens, Ohio.

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The available historical record indicates that the first African-American physician to practice in Athens County was Dr. Noah Elliott, who undoubtedly earned his credentials in the time- honored apprentice system. Dr. Elliott had a most interesting career spanning six decades, from the 1860s until his death in 1918.

He was apparently born a slave in Greenup County, Kentucky, on March 10, 1826. Thirty-four years later, the 1860 federal census of Gallipolis, Ohio, designated his occupation as that of a physician. During the War of Rebellion (1861–1865), he served as a hospital steward in the 26th United States Colored Infantry. This rank seems to have combined some of the functions of modern hospital administrators, pharmacists, dentists, physicians and nurses. . . . .

The 26th USCI regiment was organized at Rikers Island, N.Y. . . .. [Its] soldiers spent a good deal of time in South Carolina and were involved in a number of engagements with the enemy.

Caring for the wounded in [the Battle of Bloody Bridge near Johns Island, S.C.] as well as in the others [engagements] listed, provided Hospital Steward Elliott many chances to hone his medical skills. Additionally, because disease accounted for almost 75 percent of the 26th USCT deaths, he would have gained valuable experience in caring for the sick as well. . . .

Part of marker text at Elliott Home.

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One document in Dr. Elliott’s military pension record, which he personally signed, detailed the different locations in which he practiced after his discharge from the United States Army. . . . Concerning all these locations, he wrote, “My occupation has been that of a physician.” The census reports of 1870 and 1880 confirm his stated locations and profession.

Not long after moving to Athens, Dr. Elliott hosted a famous wedding at his residence at 193 West Washington Street. On August 11, 1886, Dr. Elliott’s sister-in-law Olivia Davidson married the renowned black educator Booker T. Washington. The house where the marriage took place still stands.

According to his pension record, Dr. Elliott himself was married twice. . . . [His] first wife . . . died in Kentucky. His second wife was Mary A. Davidson, Olivia’s sister. They were married in Oswego, New York, in 1862. Mary corresponded with Booker T. Washington on a lifelong basis, even after her sister passed away in 1889.

Dr. Elliott died on Feb. 2, 1918, in Columbus, where he had moved after leaving Athens around 1890. According to his obituary in The Columbus Evening Dispatch, he was a most devoted physician who “maintained his practice until his illness forced him to give it up about six weeks [prior to his death].” His passing was also noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association . . .

26th USCT drew enlistees from near and far

While the overwhelming majority of 26th USCT regiment members mustered in and trained on Rikers Island, some did rendezvous and drill at a few other locales in the state such as Elmira and Cananadaigua.

Associate Dean Harry Bradshaw Matthews

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Cover of Matthews' excellent resource on Rikers & Hart Island USCTs.

Click image to access Google Books excerpts from Matthews' volume. Use browser's "back" button to return.
Although the 26th drew most of its troops from within the state, some did come from other states and some, as already noted earlier on this page, did come from other countries.

"Laborer" and "farmer" are the listed occupations that predominate in the researched records of those who signed up for the Rikers-based regiment. But scattered among the entries are such trades as "cook," "mason," "shoemaker," "carpenter," "blacksmith," "coachman," "butcher," "barber," "hostler," "sailor" and "boatman."

The latter category fit David Carll, 21-year-old man of color who had been born free in Cold Spring Habor, L.I. (slavery having ended in NYS in 1827) and who was living and working in Oyster Bay, then part of Queens County but now part of Nassau County, when he went to a county center in Jamaica to join the Union army Jan. 2, 1864. He signed up with the 26th USCT during the first week of opportunity to do so. With $200 from the $300 bounty he received for enlisting, Carll bought some land in the community. To this day, a hill near South Street bears the Carll name.

Carll has been the focus of separate research quests undertaken by a few of his descendants acting independently:

  • Frank Carl of NYC and his nephew Gilbert McDonald of Odenton, MD, who did a presentation Aug. 7, 2010 at the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C. on their findings about the oysterman, Carl's great great grandfather, and
  • Vanessa Williams, the singer and actor who was the first black Miss America. NBC TV's Who Do You Think You Are? series' second season starter Friday night, Feb. 4, 2011, featured her genealogical guest for information on her great-great grandfather Carll.

26th USCT Pvt.
David Carll.

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David Carll's gravestone in Oyster Bay's Pine Hollow Cemetery.

Click gravestone image to access source, NBC TV's Who Do You Think You Are? Vanessa Williams show. Use browser's "back" button to return.
Both quests involved visits to the National Archives where the researching descendants encountered a tintype photo of him that he had included with his Civil War veteran pension petitions.

After many years battling his way through federal bureaucratic red tape, Carll finally did gain his pension -- $6 a month -- in 1902, eight years before his death in 1910 at age 67.

Both quests briefly spotlighted Oyster Bay's Pine Hollow Cemetery on South Street where David Carll's tombstone notes his service in the 26th USCT.

The Vanessa Williams Feb. 4, 2011 show included a visit to the cemetery where both her father and her great great grandfather are buried, though not in the same section. Dagmar Fors Karppi's August 20, 2010 Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot story about the Frank Carl/Gilbert McDonald research reported not only about that gravestone but also about other African American Civil War veterans buried there. These include a Simon Rapalyea, a 20th USCTer, who was born in 1828 and died Nov. 24, 1894.

Ithaca monument to 26 who joined the 26th.

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Much further from Rikers than Oyster Bay stands the only known monument in NYS to members of the island's 26th USCT.

In Ithaca, next to the St. James A.M.E. Zion Church is a stately black granite monument dedicated to the 26 Black men who enlisted at that church to serve in the 26th.

St. James A.M.E. Zion's building, erected in 1836 at its present site on Cleveland Avenue, then called Wheat Street, is now Ithaca's oldest surviving original church structure.

Before, during and after the Civil War, it served as a cultural, political and spiritual center for the black community in Ithaca.

The 26 who joined the 26th, ages 17-47, enlisted at the church between 1863 and 1864.

Their names are engraved on the monument unveiled circa 2009: Henry W. Adams, Henry Allen, Morgan Dennis, Isaac Desmond, Sylvester T. Dorsey, Henry L. Green, Jacob Guess, George Guinn, Daniel Johnson, Jacob Johnson, George E. Jones, Thomas McChesney, George A. Richardson, John R. Ross, Henry Selby, Charles S. Shaw, Alonzo Smith, Henry Smith, James E.L. Smith, John Smith, John F. Smith, Joseph B. Smith, Edward Sorrell, John Sorrell, John Tyler, and Zachariah Tyler.

Besides their names carved in stone, they are memorialized in a film, Civil Warriors, scheduled for showing during a Civil War exhibit at Ithaca's History Center until July 2011.

Scene from film about the 26 who joined the 26th.

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Based on and inspired by a play written by Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen in 2004, the film takes the form of spoken-word performances, many done by local actors and Cornell students.

Author Ben Porter Lewis wrote the screen script. The film was produced and directed by Deborah Hoard and Che Broadnax of PhotoSynthesis Productions in Ithaca.

A series of vignettes -- such as the story of Zachariah Tyler who was 44 years old in 1864, yet volunteered alongside his 19-year-old son to fight -- are woven into a powerful dramatic statement.

Also some considerable distance from the 26th USCT's home base, Rikers Island, is yet another monument mentioning the regiment; this one out of state.

Entries on back of Black Soldiers Memorial..

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Black Soldiers Memorial in Danbury.

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The Black Soldiers Memorial Marker is located in Wooster Cemetery, Danbury, CT., next to the Monument to Soldiers in Unknown Graves.

Although the front declares it is Dedicated to the Memory Of the Black Soldiers of Greater Danbury who Served in the 29th and 30th Regiments, Conn. Volunteer Infantry During the Civil War 1861 – 1865, the back includes among the soldiers listed four from the "26TH U.S.C.T." They are Privates William Brown, George Dunbar, Milton Dunbar and Lewis Hines.

Still further away from Rikers is the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C., where its Wall of Honor bears more than 209,140 United States Colored Troops names, including the regiments that trained on Hart and Rikers Islands, respectively the 31st, 20th and 26th USCTs.

Hopefully this web site's pages recalling their short stays on the islands that afterwards became ours may, in some modest way, count as a NYC Correction salute recognizing their service to the country.

NYCHS webmaster,
Black History Month 2011

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