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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Two USCT Heroes

Freedom in Their Bones

 
 
Two USCT Heroes CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 20, 2013
1. Two USCT Heroes CWT Marker
Inscription. Two African American Civil War veterans, Pvt. Edward Diggs and Sgt. Anthony W. Poole, are buried here. Each enlisted in Co. G, 36th U.S. Colored Troops, in Yorktown. Blacks sought to enlist earlier in the war but were banned until after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. About 200,000 served under the Stars and Stripes. A former slave wrote, “I felt like a man with a uniform on and a gun in my hand. I felt freedom in my bones.”

Black recruits, mostly escaped slaves from eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, formed the regiment. Poole (born in Surry County on August 30, 1845) enlisted and was appointed sergeant on October 3, 1863. Diggs (born in James City County in January 1845) enlisted as a private on October 5. The 36th guarded Confederate prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland, and then fought around Petersburg and Richmond. On September 29, 1864, Poole was wounded in action as the regiment captured the Confederate lines at the base of New Market Heights east of Richmond. On April 3, 1865, the 36th was among the first regiments to enter the city. The 36th was ordered to Brazos Santiago at the southern tip of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. En route, at Fort Monroe, Poole was discharged on June 3, 1865. Diggs was discharged in New Orleans on October 28, 1866.

Poole,
Two USCT Heroes CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 20, 2013
2. Two USCT Heroes CWT Marker
a widower, died on September 12, 1912. Diggs received a pension in 1890. His wife, Susan, received a widow’s pension in 1914 after he died.

“Once let a the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S., let him get an eagle on his shoulders and bullets in his pocket and there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States.” – Frederick Douglass

(captions)
Unknown U.S. Colored Troops sergeant Courtesy Library of Congress
Unknown U.S. Colored Troops soldier with family Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 37° 7.232′ N, 76° 31.363′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Campbell Road 0.1 miles north of Warwick Boulevard (U.S. 60), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3628 Campbell Rd, Newport News VA 23602, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Providence Mennonite Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); Young’s Mill (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named Young’s Mill (approx.
Pvt. Edward Diggs gravesite image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 20, 2013
3. Pvt. Edward Diggs gravesite
1.1 miles away); Mathews Mill (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named Young’s Mill (approx. 1.1 miles away); First Peninsula Defense Line (approx. 1.1 miles away); Warwick County Confederate Monument (approx. 1.2 miles away); Warwick Courthouse (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
 
Categories. African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil
 
Sgt. Anthony W. Poole gravesite image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 20, 2013
4. Sgt. Anthony W. Poole gravesite
Unidentified African American soldier in Union sergeant uniform holding a rifle image. Click for full size.
circa 1863
5. Unidentified African American soldier in Union sergeant uniform holding a rifle
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-ppmsca-27058]
Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters image. Click for full size.
circa 1863
6. Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-ppmsca-26454]
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 490 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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