Wilson Lincoln (blackunionsoldiers)

(b. 1836 – d. 1864)

Wilson J. Lincoln was born around 1836 in Montgomery County. He was likely enslaved on Ulysses Griffith’s farm near Unity, appearing in 1853 and 1855 slave assessment records as “Willson.” In 1857 Wilson and Perry Lincoln purchased farm animals and farm equipment from William B. Gaither and Henry Dwyer. The 1850 census for Montgomery County identified Perry Lincoln as a free black, and he was likely Wilson’s brother, although born in Prince George’s County. According to the land record, Wilson and Perry paid one hundred and fifty dollars to Samuel Griffith, who in turn paid Gaither and Dwyer. Their purchase included three horses, three cows, twenty pigs, six plows, two wagons, a crop of potatoes and a crop of wheat.

Wilson Lincoln was free by 1860, when he and his brother Benjamin lived next door to William B. Gaither’s mill and Henry Dwyer’s stone masonry shop south of Unity. That year, the two brothers worked as “pump makers.” They probably built pumps for Gaither’s mill, which stood on Hawlings River.

In May 1864 Wilson Lincoln was drafted by the Union army. Although the first draft that year took place in March, the President had ordered a second conscription “of an additional 200,000 men,” beginning in May. On May 24, the Baltimore Sun published a list of the sixty-three men drafted from the First District of Montgomery County including “Wilson Linklon, colored.” Lincoln arrived in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland on June 20, 1864. Colonel John C. Holland, a U.S. provost marshal, mustered Lincoln into Company G, 28th Regiment, U.S.C.T. Although the 28th was part of the Indiana Volunteer Infantry, the men recruited in Maryland were “credited to Maryland [by the] War Dept., Washington D.C.”

The 28th Regiment participated in the Battle of the Crater and the Siege of Petersburg. Lincoln served with the company as a private for the remainder of the Civil War. He was discharged in Norfolk, Virginia on June 10, 1865.

Wilson Lincoln appears among the 209,145 black soldiers commemorated on the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name appears on plaque B-44 on the Wall of Honor, along with the name of his brother, Perry Lincoln.

Perry Lincoln (blackunionsoldiers)

(b. ? – d. ?)

Perry Lincoln, a free black from Unity, enlisted as “a substitute,” standing in place of another man. He entered with the 28th Regiment in 1864, serving in Company I as a sergeant. After being “absent sick” in October, Perry Lincoln died from the final stages of “phthisis pulmonalis,” or tuberculosis, on November 9, 1864 at the L’Ouverture Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. The physician noted that “of His past history nothing is known.” It is also unknown for whom he had substituted. Perry Lincoln was buried in Alexandria’s newly-established Freedmen’s Cemetery, in grave number eighty-eight.

Josiah Ciphas (blackunionsoldiers)

(b. ? – d. ?)

In 1864 Josiah Ciphas enlisted with Company B of the newly-formed 39th Regiment. Also in the company was Bazel Ciphas, although his relationship to Bazel is unknown.

Bazel Ciphas (blackunionsoldiers)

(b. circa 1842 – d. ?)

Twenty-three-year-old Bazel Ciphas enlisted in Montgomery County with the Maryland Volunteer Infantry on March 22, 1864. He had left his place of enslavement on Ulysses Griffith’s farm near Unity. Colonel Samuel M. Bowman mustered him into service on March 24, 1864 in Baltimore with Company B of the newly-formed 39th Regiment. The regiment fought in battles that included Petersburg, Spotsylvania Court House, and the Crater. Like many soldiers in the regiment, Bazel Ciphas had to pay $6.00 for his musket and other supplies when he received his final pay on June 30, 1865. In 1890 his widow, Mary E. “Cephas” applied for a pension.

Ciphas’s name is among the 209,145 names listed on the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. His name appears as “Bazil Cephas” on plaque C-53 on the Wall of Honor.

Robert Lincoln (blackunionsoldiers)

(b. circa 1836 – d. ?)

On March 22, 1864 Robert Lincoln enlisted with the newly-formed 39th Regiment of the Maryland Volunteer Infantry in Montgomery County, Maryland. He transferred to the Navy on April 11 of the same year. His transfer was not unusual since the U.S. War Department had sent out General Orders that spring asking any experienced seamen to consider transferring to the Navy. The orders also specified the goal of transferring one thousand men “in the most expeditious manner” to the Naval station in Baltimore. At least fourteen other soldiers from Company B transferred along with Lincoln, including Private Bazil Hall, who had also enlisted in Montgomery County.

Upon arriving at the Naval station, Lincoln would have received payment for the short time he had served with the United States Colored Troops, which was slightly over a month. At 5’3″ tall, Lincoln was classified as a landsman, showing that he actually had little or no experience at sea. From October 1864 to January 1867, Lincoln served two months on the U.S.S. Philadelphia and approximately two years aboard the U.S.S. Lancaster (1865 to 1867).

Following the War Lincoln may have returned to Montgomery County, since a Robert Lincoln, born around 1825, was living in Montgomery County in 1870. This Robert Lincoln lived only a few houses away from Wilson J. Lincoln, another African American veteran of the war.

As a veteran of the Civil War, Robert Lincoln’s name appears on the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C., among the names of the 209,145 soldiers. His name is found on plaque C-54 on the Wall of Honor.