Susie King Taylor was one of the first people to write about her experience with a “colored regiment” during the Civil War.
Taylor was born into slavery in Georgia in 1848. She learned to read and write with other African American children in a secret school in Savannah.
During this period blacks, free and enslaved, needed a pass to be out after 9:00 pm, otherwise they would be arrested and would remain in custody until the following morning. After learning to write, Taylor would often write passes for her family and other African Americans in the area.
When the Civil War started she traveled with her husband’s regiment, the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, which later became the 33rd USCT (United Stated Colored Troops). She was assigned to be a laundress for the unit, but soon took on the role of nurse and caregiver. She also taught the soldiers to read and write in their spare time.
Her book, “Reminiscences of MY LIFE IN CAMP” was published in 1902.