Private Thomas Walker
In the early 1860s, Walker was enslaved by Martha M. Schaaff, a resident of Prince George's County, Maryland. His enlistment records describe him as 5 feet, 3 1/2 inches tall, with black hair, black eyes, and a black complexion.
Walker enlisted in the Union army in June 1863, at Mason's Island, Virginia, at the age of 16. He mustered in as a private in Company G of the 1st United States Colored Troops Infantry Regiment later that day. The regiment took part in several key operations throughout Virginia and North Carolina. The men served in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Yorktown before taking part in the Siege of Petersburg. They took part in the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864, and the Battle of New Market Heights and Chaffin's Farm in late September. In December 1864, they carried out an expedition to Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
The regiment then participated in a number of actions throughout North Carolina, including the capture of Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865, and the occupations of Goldsboro and Raleigh that spring. The men were present at the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston at Bennett Place on April 26, and the army then assigned them to duty in the Department of North Carolina until September. Walker mustered out with his regiment on September 29, 1865, at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, and then disappeared from the historical record.
Private Walker 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.
- Web. [ Thomas Walker (1st USCT)], Website, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History: Black Virginians in Blue, March 21, 2021, retrieved July 28, 2021.