William Gould "W.G." Raymond

An ordained abolitionist white officer is appointed by President Lincoln to recruit the first federal African American Union Army troops after the Emancipation Proclamation. Hundreds of courageous Black men and former slaves come forth in early May, 1863, only to be forever erased from War Department records. This, seemingly due to a perceived slight and overstep.

An unjust and gaping omission in the epic story of African Americans fighting for their freedom is born. Racial tensions, national division, the insidious tentacles of opiates (W.G. included) and governmental infighting and spin. All could be lifted from today’s headlines, over 150 years later. This book forces history and truth to collide. All should come to know this man and those earliest pioneering African American soldiers.

W.G. Raymond’s 19th Century autobiography, Life Sketches and Faith Work, was pulled from the attic of the sibling co-authors’ aunt, in loose copied pages. W.G. was their 3x great grandfather. The pandemic nudged them to at last delve into his remarkable yet seldom discussed life. This book has been exhaustively researched. It corroborates W.G.’s autobiography and expands on his incredible life story.


W.G. led a life that kept him on the road and with young and old people from every walk of life. When depleted, he found restoration within nature. No place was as special to him as was the rugged beauty of his beloved Beulah Land and Rock of Ages. This attuned location was near a branch of Rock Creek, which flows between Washington and Georgetown, emptying into the vibrant Potomac.


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