April 28

This Day in History

Civil War

Apr 28, 1810:

Union general who advocated for black troops is born

Union General Daniel Ullmann is born in Wilmington, Delaware. Ullmann was best known as an advocate for black troops.

Ullman was educated at Yale University and practiced law in New York City. He was an active Whig before the party's collapse around 1850, and he ran for governor of New York on the American, or "Know-Nothing," ticket in 1854. Ullmann became a colonel in command of the 78th New York regiment when the war began. He was sent to Virginia and served in the Shenandoah Valley, where he was given command of a brigade. He was captured at the Battle of Cedar Mountain and briefly incarcerated at Richmond’s Libby Prison.

Promoted to brigadier general in January 1863, Ullmann was sent to New Orleans to recruit black troops. His efforts were met by much resistance among his fellow officers. Ullmann often complained that his men were given work details and not seriously considered for military duty. He finally got his wish, and his brigade was sent to assist in the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, in May 1863. After Ullmann's men bravely made several unsuccessful attacks on Port Hudson, one Union officer warned, "We must not discipline them, for if we do, we will have to fight them some day ourselves."

Ullmann spent most of the war at Port Hudson after the Confederates surrendered it in July 1863. After the war, he traveled extensively, and studied literature and science. He died in Nyack, New York, in 1892.

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