Washington County, North Carolina: Shadows of Plymouth, 1864

Photo: Orton Family Files

Portraits of United States Colored Troops are rare, so we’re always excited to find one. This gentleman, from Northampton County, Virginia, fought with the 10th U. S. Colored Infantry, and was wounded in the Battle of Plymouth, North Carolina, in 1864. Later in life, as a widower, he sold a popular curative to support himself. I’m not sure why, but I found one of the bottles of the type he sold on Ebay, and bought it. It was delivered today. I guess I kept thinking about this older man, no longer able to work, who tried to support himself as well as he could, Yet, despite everything, he never let anything get him down. His is one of the many “lost” graves of United States Colored Troops that we continue to identify and document in Virginia and North Carolina. Until I can mark his grave properly, this bottle, and his smile, will be my source of inspiration.

Photo: Nadia K. Orton, April 1, 2021. All rights reserved.

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