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Dalyce Newby

soldier, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of William Carney and Ann, a former slave. Little is known of his parents or of his early years. As a young boy he expressed an interest in the ministry and, at the age of fourteen, attended a covertly run school under the tutelage of a local minister. Later he moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he took odd jobs in the hope of saving sufficient funds to acquire his religious training.

In 1862, despite strong opposition, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill authorizing the recruitment of African American troops. In January 1863Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts was permitted to raise a black regiment. Since the black community was relatively small in that state, recruiters turned to enlisting men from other states, using such prominent abolitionists as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Wendell Phillips as recruiting ...


Antonio Maceo y Grajales was born in Majaguabo, San Luis, Oriente province, Cuba. His father was Venezuelan but had lived many years in Cuba. His mother, Mariana Grajales, a Cuban, has become a legend, since eight of her sons and her husband died in the struggle for Cuban independence. At an early age, Maceo took interest in the political affairs of the country, and he became a mason at nineteen.

When landowner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes's call to overthrow the Spaniards, the Grito de Yara of 1868, sparked the beginning of the Ten Years' War, Maceo was among the insurrectionists. By mid-January 1869, three months later, his military exploits had earned him the rank of commander; soon after he became a lieutenant colonel. Careful, thoughtful, and quick thinking, Maceo became a true genius of guerrilla warfare, which he learned from Máximo Gómez ...


Tina C. Jones

was a Patriot of the American Revolutionary War. Legend has it that Oscar grew up on the same plantation as his famed master and war hero, Brigadier General Francis Marion, in Berkeley County, South Carolina, and that they played together as childhood friends in the 1730s. Francis Marion's family owned the plantation. Francis fondly referred to Oscar by his nickname, “Buddy.” In time, these childhood playmates would mature and, as adults, find fame as patriotic heroes and fierce guerrilla fighters in the Revolutionary War. Francis Marion grew up to become the wily general known to his enemies as the “Swamp Fox.” Oscar Marion's place fighting alongside Francis has only recently come into full focus, although his role in the war has often been portrayed in art and literature over the past two centuries.

Oscar Marion served in the 2nd Continental Army Regiment of South Carolina His volunteer service of ...


Kenneth Wayne Howell

naval mess attendant who won the Navy Cross for valor at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Doris Miller was born in Willow Grove, a small farming community near Waco, Texas. He was one of four sons born to Connery and Henrietta Miller. For the next twenty years Miller remained in Willow Grove, where he worked on his father's farm, helped his mother with household chores, and attended the segregated schools in Willow Grove and Kimmonsville. As a teenager Miller entered A. J. Moore High School and became a star running back on the school's football team. However, his success as an athlete did not transfer into the classroom, and he dropped out of school in May 1938.

With the economy still in the shadow of the Great Depression, Miller had a difficult time securing permanent employment. Thus in 1939 he enlisted as a mess attendant third class ...


Morris J. MacGregor

war hero, was born Doris Miller in Waco, Texas, the son of Conery Miller and Henrietta (maiden name unknown), sharecroppers. Miller attended Waco's segregated Moore High School and became the school's two-hundred-pound star fullback. As the third of four sons in a family engaged in subsistence farming, however, he was forced to drop out of school to find work. In September 1939 he joined the navy as a mess attendant.

The navy was then rigidly segregated. Except for a small group of black sailors in the general service, survivors of the mostly integrated pre–World War I fleet, blacks were restricted to the steward's branch, where they wore distinctive uniforms and insignia. Even chief stewards could not exercise authority over men with lower ratings in the general service. Stewards manned the officers mess maintained the officers billets aboard ship and in some instances took care of the quarters of ...


Karen E. Sutton

Revolutionary War veteran, credited with causing the death of the British lieutenant colonel James Abercrombie at the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775. Folklore has it that a teenage Lydia Abbott and her father purchased an African American male infant at a Salem, Massachusetts, slave auction block. The Abbotts lived in nearby Andover and were traveling by horseback. According to tradition, the baby rode either on the “bow” of the saddle or in the saddlebag of Lydia's horse. However he got to Andover, Lydia's family owned him, and had him baptized in the Congregational Church in 1747. In later years, Lydia Abbott gave Poor to her daughter, Chloe. As a child this African American male slave became known as “Salem Pony.” At approximately twenty-seven years of age, Salem purchased himself for twenty-seven pounds. The date was 10 July 1769 and the other party ...


Lois Kerschen

Salem Poor was an African American hero at the battle of Bunker Hill. Little is known about Poor's life before or after the American Revolution. Some biographical sources say that he was born free in the late 1740s or early 1750s, while others say that he was born a slave but managed to buy his own freedom in 1769 for twenty-seven pounds. He lived and attended church in Andover, Massachusetts, with his wife, Nancy, a free African American woman, and their son. However, in May 1775 he left his family to join the fighting.

Poor belonged to Captain Benjamin Ames's company in Colonel James Frye's Fifth Massachusetts Regiment. There were approximately three dozen black soldiers at Bunker Hill (near Boston), including Peter Salem, Alexander Ames, Cato Howe, Barzillai Lew, and Titus Coburn According to surviving documents Poor was sent to Bunker Hill to build ...