Tag Archives: Calvin McRae

Black or white or both, he made a good Maine soldier, Part II

On June 16, 1862, a New Orleans businessman named B. Bronson discovered that his “light mulatto” slave, Calvin, had run away. With Union troops occupying the Big Easy, Bronson probably figured he would never see Calvin again. An enigmatic character, the “B Bronson” recorded in the June 28, 1860 census of “free inhabitants” of the […]

Black or white or both, he made a good Maine soldier, Part I

Franklin S. Nickerson knew a darn good soldier when he saw one, whether he was black or white or both. Four Maine infantry regiments — the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th — and the 1st Maine Battery went to New Orleans, Louisiana with Ben Butler in spring 1862. The Maine boys loved the fresh fruit […]