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Interesting discovery

My brother and his family spent some time in D.C. recently, where he found our great-great-grandfather, Amos M. Ramsdell, listed on the rosters when he visited the African American Civil War Memorial. (I didn't bother to repost the photo of the panel listing the names in the 91st Infantry, although we have them.)

A white man born in Massachusetts, Amos enlisted in the Union Army as a private, was promoted to sergeant, and later became a 1st Lieutenant in the US Colored Troops 91st Infantry Regiment (formerly the 20th Corps de Afrique Infantry) and participated in the defense of New Orleans during the Civil War.

Both Keith and I were moved to find the names of the white officers listed with the members of the African American regiments.


The African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
photograph © Keith A. Ramsdell

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Aug. 24th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)
tanita says:
No matter what anyone says, especially in wars-gone-by, there is no "wrong" side, and I'm sure your ancestor served with distinction. Go, Ramsdells.
kellyrfineman
Aug. 24th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
Re: tanita says:
What a lovely way of looking at thing. And "Go, Ramsdells" indeed!
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Aug. 24th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
We have several Civil War ancestors (all Union side that we've found so far). Amos is singular in having served in a Colored Regiment.
jeannineatkins
Aug. 24th, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
Wonderful to connect here. Did he survive the war?

Glad the names are mixed with soldiers and leaders. I know it was supposed to be a snub for Robert Gould Shaw to be buried in a mass grave with his black soldiers, but his parents were certain that was right.
kellyrfineman
Aug. 24th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
He did survive the war, although some of my other ancestors on my mother's side did not (and died in Confederate prisoner camps).

Robert Gould Shaw is the guy that Matthew Broderick played in Glory, right? I'll bet he wouldn't have minded staying with his troops.

Edited at 2011-08-24 11:04 pm (UTC)
bogwitch64
Aug. 24th, 2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
That is lovely, and heartening. Brought a tear to my eye, it did.
kellyrfineman
Aug. 24th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Aw . . . thanks, Terri.
beckylevine
Aug. 24th, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
Wow, Kelly, that's something I never knew. Are you sure you shouldn't join me in the struggle of writing a historical novel? What a story that would be.
kellyrfineman
Aug. 24th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
I only know his rank and dates of service - no further stories or details. But it's awfully cool, isn't it?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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