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9th U.S. Colored Infantry - William Royal Civil War Archive
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[U.S. COLORED TROOPS]. CAPTAIN WILLIAM ROYAL. Archive. 45 Items from 1863-1869, primarily relating to Company F of the 9th U.S. Colored Infantry, including numerous inventories, correspondence, and pay receipts. Images shown on the website are only a sample of the complete archive. Royal, a white officer (as was typical), was in command of his company as part of the Union occupation of Richmond starting on April 3, when the Confederates abandoned their capital. He remained through the regiment’s service occupying Brownsville Texas under General Sheridan after the war. Also included are Royal’s marriage certificate and Bachelor of Laws degree, and five letters to him, including a friend mourning news of Lincoln’s assassination.

Inventory #22249       Price: $2,850

William Royal (1841-1920).  Born in Norfolk, England, Royal emigrated in 1847 or 1848, perhaps as an orphan.  By 1850, he lived in Hopewell Centre, New York, in the household of farmer William Depue.  After attending the Canandaigua Academy, in August 1862, he enlisted as a private at Albany, and mustered into Company E of the 44th New York Infantry, known as Ellsworth’s Avengers. On November 30, 1863, he was commissioned Captain, Company F, 9th United States Colored Troops.  On March 13, 1865, he received a promotion by brevet to Major.  After serving with his company in Virginia and Brownsville, Texas, he and his men were mustered out in November 1866.  He served as an agent for the Freedmen’s Bureau in St. Mary’s, Georgia, from August 1867 to December 1868.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Albany in May 1869, and by 1880, he was an attorney in San Francisco, California.  He married Rebecca Valantine in 1893, and they had a son in 1895.  Royal died in September 1920, and is buried in the National Cemetery in San Francisco.

Inventory:

William Depue. Autograph Letter Signed, with envelope, to William Royal, Hopewell Center, New York, April 4, 1865, 2pp. Received news of Union capture of Richmond.

            “The news reached here yesterday that Petersburgh was Evacuated, and Richmond taken by our Armies, if this is Confirmed and we think it will be and The Rebellion will soon collapse it is a time of general rejoicing  All the flags that bare the stars and stripes were unfurled to the breeze yesterday and every body seemed happy, with whom I came in contact. The world does move and the Coppers give signs of believing it.… this town has filled her Quota for the draft.…”

Grace Martin. Autograph Letter Signed, with envelope, to William Royal, Hopewell Center, New York, April 12, 1865, 3 pp. Expressing optimism about war effort.

            “What glorious news we have from the War Department now. Monday was celebrated at Canandaigua by every imaginable kind of noise, from cannons to striking of a trowel against a brick; bells were ringing all day, the stores were closed, and one would have thought that ‘The year of Jubilee had come,’ for sure. In the evening Father & Charlie went to the fire-works.… Our Academy at the Center is yet without a pedagogue. I do not know but I shall have to offer my services.”

Antoineitt. Autograph Letter Signed, to William Royal, Williamsburgh, 1865, 2 pp. Friend of Captain Royal expressing gratitude over the victory in Richmond, and sadness about the assassination of President Lincoln.  Identifies Lincoln with Moses.

            “Kate…told me that you were one of those fortunate ones that got to Richmond…we were all rejoicing and feeling so happy over our victories when we heard the awful news of the assination [sic] of our much beloved President to think he should be so foully murdered it made me sick to think of it, Did you see him when he was in Richmond well he did see the promised land before he died.…”

*Lydia Royal (Captain William Royal’s older sister). Autograph Letter Signed, with envelope, to William Royal, Hopewell Center, New York, April 28, 1865, 3 pp.

            “I hope before this you are in more comfortable quarters you spoke of our getting news sooner than you I suppose that is so yesterday we had the news of the capture of Booth. Wesley Carlough went to Buffalo Yesterday to see our lamented President I heard him telling some of his adventures today Hartmond Cornell and his Father got home night before last I believe they think Hartmond will live but he was not able to come home from starvation when his Father found him  he says that Mr. Remer died in the prison he took care of him.… L D Chase preached here Johnson the Colored lawyer gives a lecture tonight in Canandaigua by invitation of the most prominent men of the village.… how do your boys feel about the President’s death…”

*Lydia Royal. Autograph Letter Signed, with envelope, to William Royal, Albany, New York, October 20, 1868. Royal’s sister writes again, now after the war.

            “We expect a big show here on Friday of the Republicans their is to be a meeting at Tweedle Hall at 2 PM  Gov Fenton is to preside then the boys in blue are to bring out the Banner Grant used at City Point and in the eve an illumination and torch light procession  all in favor of Grant and Colfax are to close up their plaices of business…”

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, December 30, 1863, 1 p + docket. Inventory of “Bootees, Infantry, pairs” and “Painted Blankets” (waterproof blankets for use as ground cloths under tents or as shelters against rain) issued to 28 soldiers in Royal’s company, signed with 28 corresponding marks (“x”).   

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, January 1864, 1 p. + docket. “Company Savings” 120 lbs Coffee and 170 lbs Beans.

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, February 27, 1864, 1 p. + docket. Inventory of “Flannel Sack Coats,” “Trousers, pairs, Privates’,” “Flannel Shirts,” “Bootees, Infantry, pairs,” “Stockings, pairs,” “Great Coats,” “Blankets,” and “Painted Blankets,” issued to 34 soldiers in Royal’s company, signed with 34 corresponding marks (“x”).

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, May 1864, 1 p. “Company Savings,” 140 lbs Coffee, 105 lbs Rice, 57 lbs Hominy, and 17 lbs Soap.

[George Balch]. Letter with stamped signature, May 2, 1864, 1 p. Regarding“return of Ordinance and Ordinance Stores pertaining to Company F.…”

Horace F. Mills. Document Signed as Captain, Company K, 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, May 18, 1864, 1 p + docket. “List of Quartermaster’s Stores” of 12 “Mess Pans” and 4 “Camp Kettles” transferred to Royal at Hilton Head, S.C.

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, June 1864, 1 p. + docket. “Company Savings,” 340 lbs Salt and 3 lbs Tea. Also signed by Brig. Gen. Edward E Potter (possibly clerically).

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, Virginia, March 31, 1865, 1 p. Certification of proper use of a drum. “…the above stores have been expended in the public service … and that they were not destroyed through any carelessness on the part of any one.”

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, Richmond Virginia, April 10, 1865, 1 p. Certification of loss of two packing boxes due to changing camp in the night.

George M. Bennett. Autograph Document Signed as Lt Col, 9th Regiment U.S.C.T., May 30, 1865, 1 p. Confirming receipt of Five Springfield Rifled Muskets from Capt. William Royal.

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, Camp Lincoln, Virginia, June 2, 1865, 1 p. Certification of drum “worn out in the public service, without any carelessness on the part of the men.”

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, June 30, 1865, 8 pp. “Monthly Return of Clothing, Camp and Garrison Equipage” while in Richmond, Virginia.

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, July 20, 1865, 1 p. + docket. Inventory of “Forage Caps,” “Flannel Sack Coats,” “Trousers, pairs, Privates’,” “Knit Shirts,” “Drawers, pairs,” “Bootees, Infantry, pairs,” and “Stockings, pairs,” issued to 47 soldiers in Royal’s company, signed with 47 corresponding marks (“x”).

They served in Brazos Santiago, Texas, from June 7- July 1, 1865, and occupied Brownsville, Texas from July 1865 to October 1866.

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, Brownsville, Texas, August 31, 1865, 1 p. + docket. Certification of drum “expended in the public service within the month of August 1865, by ordinary wear without carelessness or neglect on the part of the men.”

William Royal. Document signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, September 30, 1865, 1 p. + docket. Inventory of “Forage Caps,” “Flannel Sack Coats,” “Trousers, pairs, Privates’,” “Flannel Shirts,” “Drawers, pairs,” “Bootees, Infantry, pairs,” “Stockings, pairs,” and “Great coat Straps,” issued to 25 soldiers in Royal’s company, signed with 25 marks (“x”).

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, “Camp on Resaca River Texas,” October 31, 1865, 1 p. + docket. Certification of 5 knapsacks, 5 haversacks, and 5 canteens “retained by enlisted men…on their muster-out…”

Alex F. Perry. Document with stamped signature, Quartermaster’s Dept, Washington D.C., December 30, 1865, 2 pp with envelope with stamped signature of Montgomery C. Meigs, to William Royal.  December 30, 1865, with Official returns of clothing and equipment for November 1863 through September 1865.

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, Brownsville, Texas, December 31, 1865, 2 pp.  Certification of clothing and equipment return.

John R. McGinness. Document with stamped signature, January 2, 1866, 1 p. Confirming review of return of ordnance for second and third quarters of 1865.

Alex F. Perry. Document with stamped signature, Washington D.C., May 15, 1866, 2 pp. Returns of clothing and equipment for October 1865 through March 1866.

Thomas J. Treadwell. Document with stamped signature, Washington D.C., June 6, 1866, 1 p. Confirming issue of ordnance stores on April 27, 1866, to Royal.

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, Brownsville Texas, June 30, 1866, 8 pp. “Monthly Return of Clothing, Camp and Garrison Equipage” for Company F.

Alex F. Perry. Document with stamped signature, Washington D.C., September 26, 1866, 1 p. Return of clothing and equipment for July 1866 has been received and examined.

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, Brownsville Texas, September 30, 1866, 1 p. + docket. Certification of drum “expended in service” and “actually worn out: without carelessness or neglect on the part of the men.”

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, June 30, 1866, 2 pp. Quarterly “Statement of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores.

John Robertson. Document Signed, New Orleans, October 20, 1866, 1 p. A receipt for Captain William Royal from Robertson’s Merchant Company for $30 for a “tomb slab for Capt. J. O. Blacklee.”  James O. Blakely was the captain of the 19th United States Colored Troops.

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, October 1866, 1 p. + docket. Inventory of “Forage Caps,” “Privates’ Uniform Coats,” “Flannel Sack Coats,” “Trousers, pairs, Privates’,” “Flannel Shirts,” “Bootees, Infantry, pairs,” “Stockings, pairs,” “Great Coats,” “Blankets, Woolen,” “Blankets, Rubber,” and “Great Coat Straps,” issued to 51 soldiers in Royal’s company, signed with 51 corresponding marks (“x”).

Alex F. Perry. Document with stamped signature, November 7, 1866, 1 p, and printed note on back. Returns of clothing and equipment for September and October 1866 have been received.

William Royal. Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, 1866, 1 p. + docket. Abstract of Materials Expended during third quarter, reports that soldiers used 2,000 “Elongated Ball Catridges” on “Guard Duty at Brownsville Txs.

[Special Order No. 73]. Document Signed, November 24, 1866 1 p.  Orders to Captain William Royal from George M. Dennett to be part of a council to audit the regimental treasurer’s account.

William Royal. Autograph Document Signed as Captain, Company F 9th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops, November 26, 1866, 1 p. + docket. Certification that three soldiers had knapsacks and haversacks with them when they were taken to the hospital or prison and were absent when the regiment was mustered out of service.

E. E. Fairchild. Document Signed at Lt and Adjutant, 9th U.S. Colored Troops, Greenville, Louisiana, November 26, 1866, 1 p. + docket. List of equipment received from Captain William Royal, including 1 sash, 1 haversack, 9 canteens, 6 camp kettles, 10 mess pans, 1 axe, and 1 axe helve.

Canandaigua Academy. Pamphlet, Canandaigua New York, June 23, 1862, 4 pp. “Order of Exercises for the Annual Examination” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” printed on verso.

Canandaigua Academy. Pamphlet, Canandaigua New York, June 25, 1862, 24 pp. “Sixty-Seventh Annual Catalogue and Circular of Canandaigua Academy” Lists William Royal as a student from Hopewell Centre.

Receipt for Captain William Royal, signed, Savannah Georgia, April 3, 1868, 1 p. For board for $5.00.

Bill of Lading, Savannah, Georgia, August 12, 1868, 1 p. + docket. For the transport of a desk, 4 chairs, and a box of records to Captain William Royal at St. Mary’s, Georgia.

An invitation to a “sociable” to William Royal, with envelope, March 10, 1869. Also included is a business card for a carriage service.

William Royal’s Bachelor of Laws diploma from the Department of Law at the University of Albany, May 10, 1869. 1 p.

William Royal’s Marriage License and Certificate, September 13-14, 1893. Fifty-two-year-old William Royal married thirty-six-year-old Rebecca M. Valantine, a native of Canada and resident of Nevada City, Nevada, in Alameda County, California.

Condition

Overall fine.


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