Egans (Egins), James Edward (ca. 1844-1906)
MSA SC 3520-5770
In 1844 or 1845, James Edward Egans (Egins) was born a slave on the Calvert County plantation of John Sedgwick. On October 22, 1863, at the age of 19, he was enrolled as a private in Company A of the 9th Regiment, United States Colored Troops (USCT) to serve for three years. Five feet, six and one half inches tall, with dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair, he gave his occupation as a farmer. He was appointed corporal on November 11, 1863, at first muster at Camp Stanton, Maryland, and on February 26, 1864, he was promoted to sergeant. He was mustered out with his regiment on November 26, 1866 and returned home to Island Creek in Calvert County. Less than a month later, on December 12, 1866, he was married to nineteen-year-old Mary Lock by Dr. Andrew J. Wheeler, a black Methodist minister from Bladensburg. In 1891, he began receiving a disability pension for a war injury ("irritability of heart result of sunstroke" at Camp Stanton). The next year, with $400 from a promisory note co-signed by his former master, John Sedgwick, he purchased 23 acres of land adjoining the lands of James Dennis, J. Brooke Bond, and Joseph Himmer in the vicinity of Battle and Island Creeks, Calvert County.
James and Mary had 12 or 13 children between 1867 and 1894, including
Bertha M. and Richard S. who were minors when their father died of a stroke
at the store of James B. Latimer at Broomes Island, Calvert County at about
10 a.m. on October 13, 1906. Mary survived him by 18 years, dying
on April 29, 1924, and was buried at Brooks M.E. Church. At his death,
James owned "about 33 [23?] acres of land, one heifer & 2 hogs with
a small house with only the necessary furniture." The land was described
as "very poor, located near Battle Creek which is a branch of the Patuxent
River in Calvert County," with taxes of from $4 to $6 a year and
repairs costing about $20 annually.
Photo of Alexander Higgins (Egins/Eagan), brother of James
History of the 9th Regiment from L. Allison Wilmer, J. H. Jarrett, and Geo. W. F. Vernon. History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-5. Baltimore: Guggenheimer, Weil & Co., 1899, Vol. II, pp. 183-87. [MSA L20937]
Parham Collection of Egans-Talbot/Talbert-Sheffey Family Papers - MSA SC 4881Working Research Files
Obituary of Powell Sheffey, The Capital, 11 December 2000.
Database in progress for microfilm images