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

Older African American Soldiers from Kentucky during the Civil War

This entry is in response to a patron's reference question about the ages of the oldest African American Union soldiers from Kentucky during the Civil War. Below are the names of a few of those soldiers.

Please keep in mind that many of the African American soldiers who enlisted during the Civil War were former enslaved people whose birth dates were not documented. The enlistment of African Americans resulted from a number of federal orders.

On July 17, 1862 the U.S. Congress passed the Second Confiscation and Militia Act that freed the enslaved who had masters in the Confederate Army. The act was meant for the employment of African American men in the military for labor services. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, calling for African American men in states that had withdrawn from the Union to enlist in the Union Army for battle purposes. This order did not apply to Kentucky because the state had not seceded from the Union.

By October of 1863, all border states were enlisting African American men except in Kentucky, where the enslaved were used as labor for the military. Nonetheless, Camp Nelson, KY was on its way to becoming the third largest recruiting and training station for African American men: it would provide the Union Army with more than 10,000 African American soldiers. Kentucky was second to Louisiana in terms of states that provided the most African American soldiers during the Civil War.

See Camp Nelson, Kentucky: a Civil War history , by R. D. Sears; and Civil War Day by Day: an almanac, 1861-1865, by E. B. Long.

U.S. Colored Troops - Kentucky

Source: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served with the United States Colored Troops: Infantry Organizations, 41st through 46th; Microfilm Serial: M1994; Microfilm Roll: 20.
Name Age Birth Year

+ -
Enlistment Date Branch of Service
Frank Bourdyne 55 1809 August 12, 1864 42nd U. S. Colored Infantry
Stephen Boyd 57 1808 February 1, 1865 13th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery
John Bradley 56 1809

Caldwell Co.
January 20, 1865 13th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery
Henry Carter 58 1806

July 24,1864 -

40th U. S. Colored Infantry
Ephraim Erving 56 1809

February 27, 1865 Independent Battery, U. S. Colored Light Artillery
Edward Evans 70 1794

June 10, 1864 - Pennsylvania 45th U. S. Colored Infantry

Moses Fraiskill 56 1808

Jefferson Co.
June 24, 1864 8th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery
Daniel Harris 65 1799

Hardin Co.
August 23, 1864 18th U. S. Colored Infantry
Prophet Mcfarland 56 1809

Daviess Co.
April 12, 1865 6th U. S. Colored Cavalry
Major Payne 55 1808

August 13, 1863 49th U. S. Colored Infantry

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Caldwell County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Simpson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Logan County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Hardin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Daviess County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Washington County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Russellville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Camp Nelson, Kentucky : a Civil War history
NKAA Source: The Civil War day by day: an almanac, 1861-1865

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Older African American Soldiers from Kentucky during the Civil War,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-07-24 16:30:19