The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 51, Issue 1

Article 2
African Diaspora Sailors from Latin America and the Caribbean in the Union Civil War Navy: Another Migration

Barbara P. Josiah


The majority of sailors of African ancestry in the Union Civil War Navy were native born, but others originated globally. Americans, Canadians, and Europeans are identified, glorified, and memorialized for their roles in the Union forces victory over the breakaway Confederate States of America. Although Latin American and Caribbean sailors were among the African Diaspora contingent in the Union Navy, they have been largely overlooked. By tracing the trajectory of these voluntary enlistees’ migratory movements in the transnational context of the United States Civil War, this study adds another dimension to motivations for migration in the Americas.