Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
				Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

Names on Record

A Journal Featuring Virginians of African Descent

By C. V. Brooks

Names on Record features eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth-century Virginians of African descent. In the journal, ordinary people live American's extraordinary history on record at the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and other repositories.

Relying heavily upon the massive Civil War records at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Names on Record stresses the Union Navy. Although the journal emphasizes Virginians of African descent, a single page of a record may note persons of varying backgrounds. This is especially true of the muster rolls naming crew members in the interracial, multicultural U.S. Navy. Thus, in showing black Virginians named on Record, this work necessarily presents a broader picture.

In 1861, notwithstanding those African Americans who managed to serve in some white regiments, the U.S. Army's official policy forbade the enlistment of black Americans slave or free. Meanwhile, numerous free and fugitive black men continued to add their names to the muster rolls of the U.S. Navy, in which black men had always served.

Slaves fleeing to blockading Union ships presented political, ethical, and logistical problems for Navy captains, who constantly questioned their superiors about procedure. To reject, return, transport, or enlist these fugitives were issues requiring clarification.

Names on Record includes:

Lists of Certain Virginia Slaves Escaping to the Union Navy

Names and Residences of the Various Virginia Slaveholders

Getaway Stories

Names, Birthplaces, and Ages of Numerous Virginia Sailors of African Descent

Letters Written by Union Officers

Photographs of Union Ships and Men


Muster Roll of a First-Class Frigate preparing to leave Boston for Hampton Roads in 1863

*Virginia-born black men
*Integrated crew of 610 sailors born in the U.S. and other areas, including Antigua and St. Kitts (West Indies), St. Helena, Azores, Cape de Verde, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, and Sweden. (Of the 610 sailors on the roll, 75 (12.3%) are described as black, Negro, mulatto, quadroon, or octoroon.)

Muster Roll of a Gunboat, a Converted New York Ferry, soon to sweep the James River for mines when Grant orders Butler to move toward Richmond in the spring of 1864.

*Integrated crew of 99 men born in Delaware, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Holland, Ireland, Germany, etc. *Virginia-born black men Out of the 99 sailors on the roll, 37 (37.4%) are described as Negro or mulatto. Counting discharges, transfers to the hospital, a reenlistment, and a desertion, the crew numbered 89. Thirty-five (39.3%) of these are designated as Negro or mulatto.

Muster Roll of the Hunchback on the James River, 1864

*Integrated crew of 94, of which 28 are described as Negro
*Sailors described as Negro Representation from Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia

Muster Roll of a Store and Receiving Ship, Norfolk Navy Yard

*Integrated crew born in Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Bermuda, Germany, Ireland, Prussia, Scotland, etc.

Muster Roll of the Famous Monitor, ending a repair trip at the Washington Navy Yard and heading back to Virginia

Extracts from Other Muster Rolls

*Virginia-born contrabands attached to a store, hospital, ordnance, and receiving ship off Port Royal, South Carolina *Some sailors attached to an ironclad off Newport News, Virginia *Some sailors attached to an ordnance vessel at Hampton Roads, Virginia *Some sailors attached to a coal ship at the Norfolk Navy Yard Extracts from Other Navy Records

Extracts from a Revolutionary War Pension File

Extracts from Civil War Pension Depositions Given by Residents and Former Residents of Virginia

Representation from Virginia, D.C., Maryland, and Massachusetts

  Price of journal: $65.00 plus $7.00 shipping and handling continental U.S. Number of pages: 268


Allow 4 weeks for delivery. Send check or money order to: C. V. Brooks P.O. Box 23827 Washington, D.C. 20026-3827

Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Books | Tags: Mississippi , North Carolina , Virginia , South Carolina , Georgia , Florida , Washington , Missouri
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1861, 1863, 1864, 2002, African American, Boston, Civil War, Connecticut, DE, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, German, Hampton, Hampton Roads (Virginia), Helena, James River (Virginia), Maine, Mary, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Newport, Newport News (Virginia), Norfolk, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Richmond, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington,