From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Rudd, Robert R.

(born: 1860  -  died: 1930) 

Robert R. Rudd, born in Bloomfield, Nelson County, KY, grew up in Ohio. He was born July 25, 1860, the son of Charles H. and Jemima Rudd. It is not known if he was ever enslaved [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census & Rudd's death certificate]. The family of six lived in Springfield, OH as early as 1870 [source. U.S. Federal Census].

Robert was a carpenter as a civilian. In the military, he was captain of the "I" Company of the 48th Infantry during the Spanish-American War. Rudd's military career had begun in 1875, when as a teen he served with the Ohio National Guard, then later became a captain in 1881. The 48th Infantry began as a volunteer unit, one of the temporary regiments that were finally authorized by Congress. African American volunteers had not been accepted at the recruitment stations, so they formed their own volunteer units and appealed to the President of the United States and Congress for military acceptance.

The 48th Infantry served mainly in the Philippines in the Phillippine-American War between 1900-1901, where some of the men died of diseases such tuberculosis and small pox. After the war, the 48th Infantry was mustered out of the service as a volunteer unit. Captain Rudd was well respected for his command. He did survive the war, dying a single man on January 20, 1930 in Springfield, where he had resided at 727 Garfield [source: Ohio Certificate of Death, File #580].

For more about his service life, see the Robert R. Rudd Papers, 1875-1906, at the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center. For more about other African American men who served in the 48th Infantry during the Spanish-American War, see On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. K. Schubert and F. N. Schubert.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Nelson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bloomfield, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Rudd, Robert R.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-02 17:25:14