It took a century-and-a-half for a Long Island Civil War Soldier to get the credit he deserves for giving his life for his country. Amazingly, it took a 13 year old Longwood student’s research project to connect the dots and correct history.
Carlie Preudhomme took on the project and through online resources, census reports, local documents and military records was able to confirm that Middle Island native Albert J. Freeman was lost to history due to a misspelling of his first name as Elbert.
Freeman, a black man, was born free in Middle Island in 1840. In 1863 he was listed as a soldier in the USCT, the US Colored Troops, and served in the 11th US Colored Artillery. After his honorable discharge in 1864 he succumbed to dysentery, as did many Civil War soldiers of that time.
Today, not only was Freeman honored with the adding of his name to the Civil War Memorial at Bartlett Pond Park in Middle Island, but Carlie was also honored with proclamations from various local organizations.
Carlie told the crowd of about 100 people today, “we couldn’t bring Albert’s body home, but we officially brought his name home.”