During the Civil War, he served as a Private under the alias "John Douglass" in Company B of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the second regiment in the United States made up entirely of enlisted men of color. He was about 23 years old, single and working as a farmer when he enlisted on 11 March 1863 in Unionville, Pennsylvania. Mustered out 20 August 1865 with his regiment.
He passed away in 1917 and is buried at Philadelphia National Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
↑ and the first with federal recognition; the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry regiment was against the wishes of the Secretary of War and filled only six companies, but did see action a full year before the 54th
1880 United States Federal Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1171; Page: 390D; Enumeration District: 142