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4th, 7th & 45th United States Colored Troops - Friend of the Lincoln Family

Item CDV-9386
Edelmiro Mayer
Price: $675.00


4th, 7th & 45th United States Colored Troops
Edelmiro Mayer
Captain, Major & Lieutenant Colonel
No Backmark
Signed and dated in period ink
CDV is from the Gil Barrett Collection

Hired by his uncle, Edelmiro Mayer soon left business life for West Point, where he was appointed a military instructor. There, he became a friend of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln. Mayer left the military academy to work in Lincoln Sr's law office.

During the early stages of the civil war, Mayer took sides with abolitionism, and wrote several articles in Harper's Magazine, stressing the role of African slaves' descendants in the South American Independence wars. He helped to establish a number of colored regiments. He joined the Union Army in July 1863 as a captain. Promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, he fought with distinction in Chattanooga, Olustee and the Siege of Petersburg, commanding the 45th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment. At the time of Lincoln's assassination, Mayer and his men were at a party along with his friend Robert Lincoln. Mayer attended Abraham Lincoln's funeral, comforting his friend and family.

From the United States, Mayer moved to Mexico, where he became a general in Benito Juarez's army. Regarded as a "gringo" by some of his subordinates, he killed his second in command in the course of a pistol duel. After he saved the life of French-appointed General Leonardo Márquezin the aftermath of the siege of Querétaro, in 1867, Mayer was set for execution by firing squad for treason. His own life was spared by the intervention of former President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, then Argentina's ambassador in the United States.
[Information from Wikipedia]