1860: Upper Oxford, Pennsylvania with his parents and siblings
During the Civil War, he served as a Private in Company B of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first regiment in the United States made up entirely of enlisted men of color. He was 19 years old, single and working as a farmer when he enlisted on 11 March 1864 in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Mustered out 20 August 1865 with his regiment.
His brothers Wesley and William also served with Company B.