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Documents attesting to the service of the Maryland slave, Algy Stanley, in the 7th United States Colored Infantry
Maryland and Virginia, 1865. Very good. This document group include Private Stanley's discharge from Company F, 7th Regiment, U. S. Colored Troops Volunteers, a power of attorney with which Stanley appointed a lawyer to act on his behalf to secure his enlistment and discharge bounties, and the receipt for the payment of those bounties. One of the documets is franked with a 2-cent orange Internal Revene stamp (Scot #R15), and another is franked with a pair of 25-cent orange Power of Attorney revenue stamps (Scott #R48). The documents are in good shape; worn at the edges. The upper left hand corner of all three have been glued together. Although Maryland was a slave state, it never seceeded from the Union, so its slaves were not freed with the Emancipation Proclamation. The could instead, however, earn their freedom by enlisting in the Army with or without their masters consent. In September of 1863, the War Department authorized Colonel William Birney to raise an an infantry regiment, the 7th Regiment of United States Colored Troops, from the slaves an free blacks of Maryland. Men who enlisted were to receive a bounty of $50 for signing up, and if they completed their tour sucessfully, they were to receive an additional discharge bonus of $50. To make the loss of a slave more palatable, slave owner's who could prove their ownership of an enlistee were also entitle to a $100 bounty. Stanley was the property of Thomas J. Lecompte when he enlisted on 27 September 1863. Initially the regiment was sent to Florida and South Carolina where its daily routine of garrison, guard, and labor duties was occassional interupted with a skirmish or two. in Florida and South Carolina. However in August of 1864, the 7th moved into central Virginia and served in the seige operations against Petersburg and Richmond. Stanley was wounded on August 25th during this campaign and subsequently hospitalized at Fortress Monroe where he mostly remained until discharged in 1865. In addition to the the three original documents in the grouping, I've included photostat excerpts from Stanley's official Army record as well as Lecompte's Evidence of Title and ownership statement documenting that Stanley was his property at the time of enlistement. Colored Troops discharges are relatively uncommon, however they turn up regulary at auction. Almost all, however are for African-Americans who were free men before the war began or who were freed as the result of the Emancipation Proclamation. Documents for actual slaves who enlisted from the slave states that remained in the Union (Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri) are very scarce. As of 2017, there are none for sale in the trade and no auction records at OCLC or the Rare Book Hub. Although there are no similar institutional records per OCLC, OCLC does identify "one certificate . . . freeing a slave and his family as a reward for his service in the Confederate army.," which is located at the New York Historical Society.
      [Bookseller: Read 'Em Again Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2017-09-02           Check availability:      Biblio    

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