Maryland and Virginia: 1866. These two documents include a statement of service and death at the Indianola Texas Post Hospital of Alexander Chase while serving in Company E, 7th Regiment, U. S. Colored Troops Volunteers and the 4-page State of Maryland Bounty claim and receipt documenting its payment to his wife, Margaret. The statement of service and death is signed by Margaret with her mark, an "x". The claim is supported by signed testimony from Solomon Jackson, an elderly African-American "preacher of the M. E. (Methodist Episcopal) Church," that he married the couple on December 28, 1863. Two revenue stamps are affixed to the document: a 2-cent orange Bank Check stamp (Scott # R6) and a 2-cent orange Certificate stamp (Scott #R8). The documents are in nice shape; they have been glued together along their top margins. Very good. Item #008864
Although Maryland was a slave state, it never seceded from the Union, so its slaves were not freed with the Emancipation Proclamation. They could instead, however, earn their freedom by enlisting in the Army with or without their masters' consent. In September of 1863, the War Department authorized Colonel William Birney to raise an infantry regiment, the 7th Regiment of United States Colored Troops, from the slaves and free blacks of Maryland. Men who enlisted were to receive a bounty of $50 for signing up, and if they completed their tour successfully, they were to receive an additional discharge bonus of $50. To make the loss of a slave more palatable, slave owner’s who could prove their ownership of an enlistee were also entitle to a $100 bounty. Chase was the property of R. J. and Mary Goldsmith when he enlisted on 1 September 1863. Initially, the regiment was sent to Florida and South Carolina where its daily routine of garrison and guard duty was occasionally interrupted with a skirmish or two. Chase, however, did not deploy with the unit. Instead, he was detailed by Birney to serve as a recruiter in Baltimore. He rejoined the regiment in early January, and it is while in Baltimore that he and Margaret married. By August of 1864, the 7th had moved into central Virginia where it served in the siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond, There, Chase participated in the 2nd Battle of Deep Bottom (Fussel's Mill). Following General Lee's surrender, the regiment moved to Texas for duty along the Rio Grande. While in Texas, Chase contracted dysentery and was hospitalized at Indianola where he died on 31 December 1865. In addition to the two original documents in this group, I’ve included photostat excerpts from Stanley’s official Army record as well as documentation showing that he was a slave belonging to the Goldsboroughs at the time of his enlistment. Although Colored Troops discharges are relatively uncommon, they turn up regularly at auction. Almost all, however, are for African-Americans who were free men before the war began or who were freed as the result of the Emancipation Proclamation. Documents for actual slaves who enlisted from the slave states that remained in the Union (Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri) are very scarce. As of 2017, other than similar papers I have for the former slave, Algy Stanley, there are none for sale in the trade and no auction records at ABPC or the Rare Book Hub. Although there are no similar institutional records per OCLC, OCLC does identify “one certificate . . . freeing a slave and his family as a reward for his service in the Confederate army.,” which is located at the New York Historical Society.