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.