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Joseph C. Shaw was born in Ohio on February 17, 1840. He initially enlisted in the Sixth Michigan Infantry Regiment, before being discharged at Port Hudson, Louisiana in September 1863 to accept a commission in the Fifteenth Regiment Corps d'Afrique. This unit, consisting of black enlisted men with white officers, campaigned in Louisiana until late in the war, when it was transferred to Florida. The organization's nomenclature was later changed to the Ninety-ninth Colored Troops. Shaw's unit campaigned in Florida for the remainder of the war. In March 1865, the regiment was part of the Federal expedition against St. Marks that resulted in the Battle of Natural Bridge. Upon surrender of the Confederacy, the Ninety-ninth served as part of the state's occupying forces until it was mustered out of service in 1866. Part of the unit was stationed at Tallahassee during this time. Among the other locations where Shaw served were Key West, Fort Jefferson, Punta Rassa, Charlotte Harbor, Cedar Key, Perry, and St. Marks.
During the latter part of the war, Joseph Shaw suffered from an illness he contracted while in Louisiana. Due to this illness, Shaw served primarily as Regimental Quartermaster. In June and July 1865, Shaw also served on a courts-martial board at Key West.
This collection contains the private and official papers, 1863-1910, of Joseph C. Shaw, who served during the Civil War as a commissioned officer in the United States Ninety-ninth Colored Troops. Shaw's official papers are concerned primarily with his actions as Regimental Quartermaster and courts-martial board member. The records include letters, reports, requisitions, circulars, and orders. A few private letters are included in the collection; most of these were written from family and friends to Shaw. One file documents postwar efforts of Shaw to obtain a veteran's pension. Another post war file illustrates Shaw's attempt to clarify some final paper work with the auditors of his accounts as a quartermaster.
This collection provides information on the administration of a black Union military organization, along with details concerning conditions in the Civil War and in the immediate post-Civil war period in Florida.
Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Originals of photocopied letters in possession of donor.
Donor is the great-grandson of Joseph C. Shaw.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
United States. Army. --Colored Infantry Regiment, 17th (1861-1865) United States. Army. --Michigan Infantry Regiment, 6th (1861-1863) United States. Army. --Regiment Corps d'Afrique, 15th (1861-1865)
Military administration. Natural Bridge (Fla.), Battle of, 1865. African American soldiers. African Americans History 1863-1877. Florida
Cedar Key (Fla.) Florida History Civil War, 1861-1865 Tallahassee (Fla.) United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Saint Marks (Fla.) Perry (Fla.) Key West (Fla.) Charlotte Harbor (Fla.) Fort Jefferson (Fla.) Punta Rassa (Fla.)