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Fri, 08.12.1825

Orindatus Wall, Union Army Officer born

Orindatus Wall

*Orindatus Wall was born on this date in 1825. He was a Black lawyer, businessman, and Union Army officer.

Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall was from Richmond County, North Carolina, the son of a white planter, Stephen Wall, and his slave, Pricilla. He and four of his siblings were manumitted in 1837 when their father sent them to the Harveysburg Black School in Ohio.  He attended Oberlin College before establishing a boot and shoemaking business.  In 1854 he married Amanda Thomas, and the couple had eight children.  He read law under John M. Langston. At the onset of the American Civil War, he and Langston raised recruits for the first black regiment of volunteers, which would become the 104th Colored Infantry Volunteers.

In March 1865, he became the first Black man commissioned as a captain in the Union Army.  He was detailed to Charleston, South Carolina as provost marshal and served until the war's end, receiving an honorable discharge in February 1865.  After the war, he established a law practice in Washington, DC. He held offices as magistrate of the police precinct, a representative in the District legislature, notary public, and justice of the peace. In April 1890, he suffered a stroke in court and was carried to his home, where he died on April 26th, 1891. Originally interred at Graceland Cemetery, he was re-interred at the National Cemetery at Arlington in September 1895.

To Have a Military Career

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From deep sleep I sat upright And clutched his new lapels, For he was laughing. Back from the dead He came, I say, Laughing I asked not "Are you not dead?" But "What is it?" His talcum chin, And pebbles eyes, And... NIGHTMARE by James Emanuel.
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