The first official African American Spanish-American War veteran known to have lived in Onslow County, southeastern North Carolina, has been relocated, after his grave site had been "misplaced" for not less then fifty years.
James M. Blackwell, lived near Swansboro, North Carolina. He joined, like many African Americans, to fight for their nation against a common enemy. What we do not know is why he joined the 3rd N.C. Infantry during a time when African Americans were split as to where their National loyalties were tied. Many African Americans who did volunteer felt the nation deprived them of their rights while others believed by serving, even in the lowest of positions with the American Armed Forces, that they could "prove themselves" to the people of the nation that civil rights were warranted.
For decades there has been only one known Spanish-American veteran (Caucasian) to live in Onslow County-- based on only oral history (family talk). At this time, no historian can specifically state as to where this veteran is buried.
I educate people, through my books and lectures, that official documentation, either documents or photographs, is quality proof of an issue.