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Vermont African Americans


Isaac Williams, Windsor

Regiment:54th Massachusetts Infantry (Colored)
Date of Enlistment:08/11/1863
Date of Discharge:08/20/1865

Isaac Williams was one of three black Vermonters that, being forbidden to enlist in the U.S. Army, accompanied all-white 1st Regiment of Vermont Volunteers in 1861 when they answered President Lincoln's first call for troops to suppress the rebellion. Unable to serve as a soldier, Williams was an officer's waiter. It was in that capacity that Williams was one of the very first black Vermont men to see any action in the Civil War. In 1863 when the barrier against black enlistments was lifted, Williams joined the army as a substitute soldier. At that time he was 22 years old, married to Adaline Williams and together they had a son Isaac. He was employed as a farm laborer. He received his discharge along with the rest of the 54th Massachusetts at Boston on 08/20/1865. There was no further information found regarding Williams service record.