Curtis was born about 1845 in Alabama.
He stood about 5 foot 3 inches (1.6m) tall with a black complexion, black eyes and black hair.
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 18 years old, single and working as a servant when he enlisted on 27 November 1863 in New Bern, North Carolina or Lexington, Massachusetts. Mustered out 20 August 1865 with his regiment.
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On 20 Mar 2018 at 23:47 GMT K Raymoure wrote: