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Michael D. Jones, partner with Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C. April 3, 2018.

Floyd Washington, my great grandfather, was born in about 1845, enslaved in Alabama. Upon making it to Louisiana, he took up arms against the Confederacy, with the 76th Infantry, U.S. Colored Division. Local citizens complained in an 1865 Shreveport Times petition about “the insolent bearing of the colored troops.” But Colonel Charles W. Drew, their commander, gave this report: “I cannot speak in terms of too much praise of the officers and men of my command.” In one important battle, Adjutant General S.B. Ferguson reported that the 76th Infantry engaged Confederate troops, “charging like mad.”

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