Joseph Brown (born c. 1845) fought for the United States during the Civil War aboard the USS Thistle. Brown was profiled by the University of Virginia's John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History in 2017, as part of their "Black Virginians in Blue" digital project.
Brown was born around 1845 in Albemarle County. He worked as a laborer before the war. He enlisted in the Union navy on September 18, 1863, at Skipwith's Landing in Isaqueena County, Mississippi, for a period of three years. Officials listed his race as "black" in the naval records and gave him the rating of landsman. He served aboard the USS Thistle, a swift gunboat in the Mississippi Squadron, from October 1, 1862, until her decommission on August 12, 1865. Brown served aboard the ship while she was engaged in dispatch and reconnaissance duty along the Mississippi River. He disappeared from the historical record after leaving the navy.
- Web. Joseph Brown (USS Thistle), Website, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History: Black Virginians in Blue, April 12, 2021, retrieved August 4, 2021.
- Web. “Brave Boys of the Fifth”: The Service of Two Black, Albemarle-Born Soldiers of the Famous 5th Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment, Jane Diamond, Website, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History: Black Virginians in Blue, July 4, 2017, retrieved July 28, 2021.