UPublish story by Paul Huff
On August 12, 1865, eight thousand pounds of black exploded under Confederate soldiers in defensive lines outside Petersburg, Virginia. The “Battle of the Crater,” is well known among historians and hobbyist as a wasted moment of the Civil War.
Fewer people know that black soldiers from Ohio, the 27th United States Colored Troops, were with the other black soldiers whose lives were wasted in the battle.
On Tuesday May 1, 2012, Dr. Kelly D. Selby will speak on Black Civil War soldiers from Ohio. The free 7:00 p.m. talk will take place at the Cuyahoga Falls Public Library. The event is being sponsored by the General A. C. Voris Camp, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Dr. Selby teaches U.S., Civil War and Women’s history at Walsh University in Canton. She recently served on the Civil War 150th Interpretive Committee for the Ohio Historical Society. The Ohio Humanities Council web-site lists three other of her talks including: Ohio Women and the Civil War Home Front, Black Men in Blue: The Civil War, Ohioans, and the United States Colored Troops, and Black Veterans: Redefining Citizenship in Post-Civil War Ohio.
Around 180,000 black men fought in 163 segregated regiments during the war. Black soldiers fought in segregated units commanded by white officers.
Around 5,092 free blacks from Ohio comprised that number.
Black Civil War soldiers are buried through out Summit County. Alvin Smith, a veteran of the 27th U.S.C.T., was last Civil War veteran to die in Summit County. He’s buried in Akron’s Mount Peace Cemetery.
Other blacks from Summit County served in the Fifth U.S.C.T. The Armory in Stow, Ohio was named after Robert Pinn , a veteran of that unit. He was among four soldiers of the Fifth to win the Medal of Honor. Private Heathcock Dickinson is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyhaoga Falls.
Stow native and future Akron lawyer and Judge, Ulysses L. Marvin, was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in the 5th Ohio. Eventually promoted to Major, Marvin fought and was wounded at the battle of New Market Heights and was with the Fifth when it fought at Fort Fisher and Wilmington, North Carolina.