Stop 3: William Branch
While many former slaves enlisted to fight for the Union against their former owners, the North also had a large freed population that joined the cause. Some regiments were composed of largely free, northern black men. Private William Branch was most likely a free-man before the Civil War. Possibly born in Washington D.C. in the early 1840s, the twenty-three year old enlisted in company E, of the 31st USCT on April 8, 1864 at Jamaica, Long Island, New York. He was present with his unit from April 1864 to January 1865 when he was detached as an Army teamster. He died a few months later on May 11, 1865 from Typhoid Fever in a 25th Army Corps hospital.