James H. Gooding was born in 1837. He was a seaman who worked on a whaling ship. When not at sea, he lived in New Bedford, Massachusetts where he married Ellen Allen. He enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry on February 14, 1863 - just days after the recruiting office opened. He served in Company C, first as a private and later as a corporal. He wrote an eloquent letter to Abraham Lincoln denouncing the fact that Black soldiers received less pay than white soldiers. During the Battle of Olustee, he was captured by Confederate soldiers. His wife received notice that he died, but he was actually taken POW and sent to Andersonville. He died at Andersonsonville in July 1864, one month after Congress passed a law granting equal pay to Black soldiers.
James H Gooding
Civil War (Union) · US Army
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James H. Gooding, Wounded at Battle of Olustee and Died at Andersonville
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