Luis Fenollosa Emilio (22 December 1844 – 16 September 1918)
|Luis F. Emilio|
Photo from the book Brave Black Regiment
On Monday I wrote about Manuel Fenollosa and Manuel Emilio, two Spaniards from Malaga who came to Salem, Massachusetts in 1838. They were musicians in the band aboard the US naval frigate United States. Manuel Emilio married his friend’s sister, Isabel Fenollosa. They had a son, Luis, who grew up surrounded by abolitionists and other reformers in ante-bellum Salem. As an underage teen, in 1861, Emilio enlisted in the Civil War, and by 1862 he was promoted to Sergeant. He was chosen for the 54th regiment in 1863, the famous black regiment you probably watched in the movie “Glory”. All the officers in this regiment were white, and many from Essex County.His collection of military buttons, from Europe and the United States is in the Peabody Essex Museum, but I have never seen them on display. There is a catalog with ten images of the 240 buttons. In the Massachusetts Historical Society there is a collection of photographs of the 54th regiment, including Emilio and Robert Gould Shaw. Emilio wrote a book, Brave Black Regiment about the 54th Regiment, an eyewitness account to the Civil War and one of its most famous regiments. He was the only officer to survive the assault on Fort Wagner on 18 July 1863, and became the commander of the 54th Regiment.
From Brave Black Regiment
“A considerable number of the men had prepared themselves in some measure for bearing arms, others had been officer’s servants or camp followers; and as has been noted in all times and in all races of men, some were natural soldiers…During their whole service their esprit du corps was admirable.
Only a small proportion had been slaves. There were a large number of comparatively light-complexioned men. In stature they reached the average of white volunteers. Compared with the material of contraband regiments, they were lighter, taller, of more regular features. There were men enough found amply qualified to more than supply all requirements for warrant officers and clerks. As a rule, those first selected held their positions throughout service. The co-operation of the non-commissioned officers helped greatly to secure the good reputation enjoyed by the Fifty-fourth; and their blood was freely shed, in undue proportions, on every battlefield.”
Generation 1. Manuel Emilio, born in Spain, died 25 August 1871 in Salem, Massachusetts; married Isabel Fenollosa, born in Spain, died 1888 in Salem, daughter of Manuel Fenollosa and Isabel Del Pino. Manuel Emilio was the band leader on board the naval frigate United States. Both Manuels were music teachers in Salem. Isabel’s brother, Manuel Francisco Ciriaco Fenollosa, wrote the Emancipation Hymn in 1863.
Generation 2. Captain Luis Fenollosa Emilio, born 22 December 1844 in Salem, died 16 September 1918 and is buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem. He married on 19 Mar 1876 in San Jose, California to Mary Elizabeth Belden and had three children:
1. Luis Victor Emilio, born 22 June 1879 in California, died 24 August 1894.
2. Margaret Belden Emilio, born 28 January 1886 in San Francisco, died 26 July 1886.
3. Gerald Belden Emilio, born 17 October 1887 in San Francisco
Brave Black Regiment: History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1863-1865, by Luis F. Emilio, Da Capo Press, 1995 (this book has been reprinted many times, in many versions)
54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment Photographs, ca. 1860 -1800, Photo Coll. 72, Massachusetts Historical Society Photo Archives.
Records of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1863-1915, Ms. N-2063 (XT), Massachusetts Historical Society
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo