Union African American SailorsThe U.S. Navy's longstanding tradition of recruiting black sailors enabled several runaways from Mathews County to enlist aboard Potomac Flotilla and North Atlantic Blockading Squadron warships. On January 30, 1862, the logbook of USS Young Rover noted the arrival of ﬁve Mathews County contrabands (escaped slaves), including John and Washington Diggs, Aleck Phillips (Billups), and Joe Williams. Young Rover picked up ﬁve more contrabands—George Williams, Humphrey Brooks, and brothers Richard, William, and Daniel Brooks—on March 1. The Brooks brothers shipped aboard the frigate USS Minnesota on May 17. Daniel Brooks at ﬁrst worked as a coal heaver on USCS Arago, a U.S. Coast Survey ship chartered by the government to help track CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) in 1862. Capt G.J.H. Van Brunt, commander of Minnesota, welcomed contrabands into the crew. Van Brunt believed that these men served energetically and they "evidently felt that they were working at the deliverance of their race."
|Series||This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series|
|Placed By||Virginia Civil WarTrails|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 3:29am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 372250 N 4147541|
|Decimal Degrees||37.46593333, -76.44460000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 37° 27.956', W 76° 26.676'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||37° 27' 57.36" N, 76° 26' 40.56" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 1140-1198 Windsor Rd, North VA 23128, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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