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Military Enlistment Records
*The birth of Prince Romerson is celebrated on this date in c. 1840. He was a Native Hawaiian Union Army soldier.
Living in the American Northeast before the war, Romerson enlisted in the Union Navy in 1863 as part of the Blockading Squadrons responsible for maintaining the blockade of the ports of the Confederacy. After being discharged from naval service, he reenlisted in the Union Army under the 5th Regiment Massachusetts Colored Volunteer Cavalry, a United States Colored (USCT) regiment, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant on June 1, 1864.
Romerson fought with the 5th USCC until the end of the war. Illness prevented him from continuing with his regiment's reassignment to Clarksville, Texas, and he was mustered out in 1865. His military career shows the diverse attitudes of officers to the Native Hawaiians and nonwhites who served on segregated units during and shortly after the American Civil War. It also shows the intersectionality Hawaiians and Africans in the united states had in the 19th century. After the war, like many former USCT veterans, he remained in the army on the frontier as one of the Buffalo Soldiers.
One of the "Hawaii Sons of the Civil War", he was among a group of more than 100 documented Native Hawaiian and Hawaii-born combatants who fought in the American Civil War while the Kingdom of Hawaii was still an independent nation. Prince Romerson died on March 30, 1872. In 2010, the Hawaii Sons of the Civil War were commemorated with a bronze plaque erected along the memorial pathway at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.