I just finished Slotkin's No Quarter which, other than needing additional maps, was a good treatise on The Crater. Have several ancestors who served in a couple of artillery batteries of the IX Corps and in several regiments of the 4th Division IX Corps. I have several comments:
1 - I realize that there were white nco's and officers in the various USCT regiments, but my ancestor listed in the 39th USCT Regiment was a private. Did these USCT regiments have white privates? I found another ancestor listed in another USCT regiment, unrelated to The Crater, who also was a private. Does anyone have any information regarding this?
2 - I knew that during this engagement there was a great deal of retaliation against the colored troops by the counterattacking confederates and there was also a great deal of animosity of the white troops in non-colored units but was unaware that during this battle union troops actually attacked their colored troops, perhaps related to the fact that if somehow related to the colored troops they would be shown no quarter or have retributions against them.
Last edited on Sun Jan 10th, 2010 01:51 am by Doc C
Doc, I've studied the USCT fairly extensively and I have not seen any mention of white lower enlisted. Is he listed as a private on the actual muster rolls? If he is, my only guess would be that he was specialized as a ferrier or nurse or something of that sort. You are right about the Crater Battle. Many Union Soldiers were terrified of being captured with their black counterparts since official Confederate policy was to try white members of black units for inciting servile insurrection. Please let me know what you find out about your ancestor, I am very curious.