During the Civil War, he served as a Musician 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 about 19 years old, married and working as a laborer when he enlisted on 25 February 1863 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mustered out 20 August 1865 with his regiment.
RE: the 1890 Veterans schedules: I'm 90% sure this is this John Wright of the 3 John Wrights in the 54th - I believe what the transcriptionist noted as a middle initial M. is actually a Mus. for musician - Raymoure-1
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