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The First Black American Hero of the Civil War

Discussion in 'Civil War History - The Naval War' started by 5fish, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. 5fish

    5fish 1st Lieutenant

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    I found the first Black American hero of the Civil War a one Willam Tillman. Here is a link to the first Black American Hero of our Civil War an dhis story..

    African-American Heroes of the Civil War - Google Books Result
    by Mike Walbridge - 2000 - Education - 128 pages
    ... Americans were officially excluded from the Union army until late 1862. ... war heroes was a courageous African-American sailor named William Tillman. ...
    books.google.com/books?isbn=0825141451...
     

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  3. 5fish

    5fish 1st Lieutenant

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    Cold Blooded Killer

    Mr. Tillman, if you think about it, he killed a few of those men in cold blood...He didi even let them wake up and later the murder weapon was showed off to the public...For his troubles and saving the ship he got like $5000 dollars. In todays money I wonder how mush it would be.. We could say the first Black American hero was a Cold Blooded Killer...
     
  4. trice

    trice Lt. Colonel

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    Hmm. One of the first casualties of the Baltimore Riot, perhaps the first one, was a Black American servant (not a member of the unit, but wearing a uniform, IIRR) traveling with the Massachusetts regiment, April 19, 1861. As I recall, he was struck in the head by a thrown brick.

    Tim
     
  5. Battalion

    Battalion Banned

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    Many of those throwing bricks were free blacks. I may have to count them as the first black heros of the Civil War.
     
  6. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Looks to me like Tillman was more entitled to a justifiable homicide verdict than to a judgement of cold-blooded murder. Being sold into slavery had to be one of those "fates worse than death," especially for a free man.

    Smalls was a slave who just happened to steal a ship in making an escape with his family and his crew members and some of theirs.

    Although the USCT primarily guarded bridges and depots, many units were used in battle with revealing effect. Those who doubted the colored man's ability to fight, officers and men, were generally disabused of that notion when watching their performance in battle.

    Just random thoughts.

    Ole
     
  7. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    And, of course, you have a source for this claim. A violent mob has no heroes.

    Ole
     
  8. trice

    trice Lt. Colonel

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    In the 1850s, Baltimore was commonly referred to in newspapers North and South as "Mobtown". The name is still used locally for the city, or parts of it. Starting a riot in Baltimore was easy, and it appears this one was no different than many others. Rioters are rarely heroes.

    Tim
     
  9. gary

    gary Captain

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    Professor Gerald Henig of Hayward State University (CA), has researched Tillman for years. There was reluctance to pay Tillman his prize money for recovering the ship and returning it (but I think they did pay in the end). Henig was unable to ascertain Tillman's fate. Henig will be speaking before the San Francisco Civil War Round Table during it's December, 2009 meeting. Check out SFCWRT.com. His topic won't be on Tillman but on how the war transformed the nation.
     

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