Daniel Walker

1841 - 1865

Civil War

Their Story

Daniel Walker was born a slave in about 1841 in Washington County, Kentucky. His service record shows he enlisted without the consent of his owner, on June 30, 1864, at Lebanon, Kentucky.[1] Daniel’s owner was Captain Charles J. Walker, who owned 32 slaves ranging in age from 5 – 60, according to the 1860 U.S. Census.[2] Captain Walker fought for the Union in the Cavalry.  Pvt. Walker was assigned to Company E, 108th Infantry Regiment (U.S. Colored Troops).

The 108th Infantry Regiment (USCT) was one of 23 Infantry Regiments formed in Kentucky during the Civil War. Each Regiment consisted of roughly 1000 men. All the Officers in command were white, while all the Non-Commissioned Officers and privates were black.

Pvt. Walker[3] was present each time the regiment was mustered for pay; this happened about every two months. A private received $11 per month, which had the buying power of $196.98 today. That was a lot of money, especially for a man who had never had any money of his own. Some of the pay records include what was called a “Stoppage”.  This was a deduction from a soldier’s pay. These deductions were for lost equipment, debts owed to the Sutler or for clothing. The Post Sutler was a merchant who sold items of comfort to the soldiers, such as tobacco, candy, food, clothing, and things a soldier needed that the Army did not provide. The Sutler received a regimental order to be allowed to sell to the soldiers.  There was usually only one Sutler per regiment. The Sutler for the Rock Island Prison Barracks was A. C. Dart. Daniels pay records does not show a stoppage.

Sanitation was a chronic issue in the Prison Barracks, and the water supply for the camp – mostly the river – was often contaminated with the camp’s own raw sewage. With as many as 8600 prisoners in this 25-acre enclosure, basic sanitation was woefully inadequate and resulted in preventable disease and death, both among the Guards and Prisoners[4].

Pvt. Daniel Walker died at the Rock Island Prison Barracks Post Hospital of an unspecified disease on February 16, 1865.[5]

In April 1877, Daniel’s mother applied for Daniel’s pension.[6]

PVT Daniel Walker (unknown-1865) – Find a Grave Memorial

[1] U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 – Ancestry.com

[2] Ancestry.com – 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules

[3] Daniel Walker’s memorial page – Honor Veterans Legacies at VLM (va.gov)

[4] Diane Oestreich, slightly modified, originally appeared in the Rock Island Argus and Moline Dispatch on April 6, 2008. From the Rock Island Preservation Society website. https://rockislandpreservation.org/postcards-from-home/arsenal-confederate-prison-camp/ (Accessed 6/17/2023).

[5] U.S., Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries, 1862-1960 – Ancestry.com

[6] Walker, Daniel – Civil War Pensions Index – Fold3