Corpus Christi in Nueces County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Born in Devonshire, England, on December 4, 1842, to William and Hannah Downing, James Downing immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, in about 1850 with his family. On March 6, 1862, James enlisted for three years in the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Downing saw major combat in Virginia in 1864, including the Siege of Petersburg, during which he was taken captive and sent to Andersonville Prison, a notoriously horrific prisoner-of-war camp. While being transported, Downing escaped and traveled back to the front lines to rejoin his regiment.
After the Civil War, Downing was promoted to second lieutenant in the 36th United States Colored Troops, assigned to Company F, comprised of formerly enslaved African Americans from North Carolina and Virginia. The regiment was transferred to Corpus Christi, where 2,000 African American soldiers were stationed. Downing served as Post Adjutant and Assistant Provost Marshal. As Union soldiers in a southern state, the troops and Downing were not always welcome; however, the von Blücher family opened their home to Downing, and he eventually wed Mary Felicia von Blücher. Downing held
Erected 2019 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 22411.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is March 6, 1862.
Location. 27° 48.051′ N, 97° 23.975′ W. Marker is in Corpus Christi, Texas, in Nueces County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Ramirez Street and Padre Street. The marker is located in the west section of the Old Bayview Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1150 Ramirez Street, Corpus Christi TX 78401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Matthew Nolan (a few steps from this marker); William DeRyee (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Bayview Mesquite Eli Todd Merriman (within shouting distance of this marker); Explosion of the Steamship Dayton (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas S. Parker (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Bayview Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); John Dix (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Corpus Christi.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 2, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 174 times since then and 44 times this year. Last updated on July 11, 2022, by Joe Lotz of Denton, Texas. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 3, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.