Wednesday, October 28, 1863.
we had a happy time after meeting i went down to aunt Janes poor mary is very ill to day Alfred went on the ship to day i felt so badly about it to think he has to go away
Just as this time when mary is so ill Alfred was home to day Mr gibbs was to see mary this afternoon he said she expressed a hope that her sins had bin forgiven Nell and
i spent part of the evening with her then we called to see mrs palmer then went to see aunt Jane Charlie was buried this morning he had a
Alfred enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 27, 1863, mustering out on the USS Mount Vernon on December 31, 1864. Although the federal Militia Act of 1792 excluded black men from service in the U.S. Army, the Navy never barred black men from service. When the Civil War began, several hundred black men were already in service. At least 18,000 African American men served in the Navy during the war. They made up approximately 20% of the Navy’s total force, double the proportion of black soldiers in the Army. “Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System,” http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-sailors-detail.htm?sailors_id=Dav0008; Reidy, “Black Men in Navy Blue,” http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2001/fall/black-sailors-1.html.