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Birney, William (1819-1907) to John Angel James Creswell

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03428.02 Author/Creator: Birney, William (1819-1907) Place Written: Maryland Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 27 December 1863 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: General Birney discusses the recruitment of African American troops with Creswell, a United States Representative from Maryland. Expresses his hope to "enable the First District to meet its full quota in colored troops," with Creswell's support. Discusses slaveholders' conspiracies intended to prevent slaves from enlisting, including the mistreatment of enlisted slaves' wives and children. States that a Mr. Vickers, from Kent County, Maryland (possibly George Vickers), indicted a Mr. Gardner for encouraging his slaves to enlist. States that Vickers also attempted to burn one of Birney's boats. Hopes to utilize some of his own officers as recruiters. Reports that he requested a second steamer from General Henry Hayes Lockwood. Encourages Creswell to support legislation for United States Colored Troops, including equalization of pay, freedom for enlisted men's wives and children, and permanency of the U.S.C.T. branch of the service, so that officers of African American troops can obtain a permanent commission and officer-status in the regular service. Written at camp near Bryantown, Maryland.

People: Birney, William, 1819-1907.
Creswell, John Angel James, 1828-1891.
Gardner, Mr., fl. 1863.
Lockwood, Henry Hayes, 1814-1899.
Vickers, George, 1801-1879.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Union Forces, Union General, African American History, African American Troops, Government and Civics, Conscription, Recruitment, Women's History, Children and Family, Slavery, Contrabands, Confederate States of America, Wartime Pillaging and Destruction, Law, Transportation, Soldier's Pay, Emancipation

Sub Era: The American Civil War African Americans and Emancipation