Nicholas Biddle - an
African American soldier -|
was the first
union soldier to be wounded in the American Civil War.
Biddle was orderly to Captain James Wren
of the Washington Artillery of Pottsville, PA. He was hurt by a brick
thrown by a mob on April 18, 1861.
certificate to enlarge it.]
Nicholas Biddle [click
Colored U.S. Troops, Authentic photo
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Colored U.S. Sailors, Authentic photo
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"The Colored Volunteer" or
"Oh Give us a Flag"
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Fremont [Footnote 1] he told them when the war it first begun
How to save the Union and the way it should be done.
But Kentucky swore so hard  and old Abe  he had his fears
Til every hope was lost but the colored volunteers
O give us a flag, all free without a slave.
We'll fight to defend it as our fathers  did so brave.
The Gallant Compn'y A  will make the rebels dance
And we'll stand by the Union if we only have the chance
McClellan  went to Richmond with two hundred thousand brave.
He said, "keep back the niggers ," and the Union he would save.
Little Mac  he had his way -- still the Union is in tears --
NOW they call for help of the colored volunteers.
Old Jeff  says he'll hang us if we dare to meet him armed.
A very big thing, but we are not at all alarmed.
For he has first got to catch us before the way is clear.
And "that is what's the matter with the colored volunteer."
So rally, boys, rally, let us never mind the past;
We had a hard road to travel, but our day is coming fast.
For God is for the right, and we have no need to fear --
The Union must be saved by the colored volunteer.
Then here is to the 54th , which has been nobly tried,
They were willing, they were ready, with their bayonets by their side,
Colonel Shaw led them on and he had no cause to fear,
About the courage of the colored volunteer.
 John C. Fremont, Republican candidate for President in 1856, Army
general officer, and best known explorer to that date, except for Lewis
 Kentucky was a border [Northern] state during the war. She
threatened to join the South if the Union used African American troops
 President Abraham Lincoln at first hesitated to use African
 The first man to fall in the American Revolution was an African
American, Crispus Attucks, who died in the "Boston Massacre".
 Company A of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers [Colored]
 Major Gen McClellan commanded Union troops at the start of the war.
 This term was widely used at the time as a sign of disrepect.
Proper usage at the time was 'colored'.
 See Footnote 6 above.
 Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederated States of America
 Meaning, they would "die before being taken prisoner."
 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored)
 Commanding Officer of the Regiment
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