A US National Parks document actually lists 74 Blacks from Nova Scotia alone that served on 58 ships during the Civil War. This sevice is most significant!
The Annapolis Valley area of NS, according to a very credentialed writer of that province, was home to a CW hero by the name of Benjamin Jackson. Also to a sailor named William Hall, who would become the first Black in history to earn the Victoria Cross, was Canada's third VC recipient and the first from the navy for Canada.
In 1872 Noil was serving on the USS Powhattan, shown here. While it was at Harbour in Virgina he heard the cries of a man who fell over board. He immedaitely secured a rope and dove in. He was pulled under twice and finally a third sailor came to his aid and both managed to save the man from drowning. The following day he was recommended for a Medal of Honor for his bravery. He would receive the medal and it would be the first to a Black man after the Civil War.
Joseph Noil signed up as a recruit with the US Navy in 1864 and did several tours of serve and was still serving, though by then in a army/navy hospital when he died in 1881. By that time he had served on more than 7 vessels.
In his later years he was living, while not at sea, in NY and there raised a family. His granddaughter Cora Hunter Parks made quite a name for herself as an accomplished singer and dancer and performed in Broadway shows, sang in the movie Wizard of Oz and also sang with Louis Armstrong and others.
As mentioned elswhere on this site, one of the tasks of the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the US, is to try to find the graves of these men. Many have been found ( 2 recently in Canada) and new markers are often put in place beside, or in some cases actually replacing old markers that, like the one in this picture, are most difficult to read. You can see the words US Navy at the bottom but little else. Due to the great work of fellow member Don Morfe, it has been determined that this marker is at the final resting place of Joseph Benjamin Noil. And it and he reside less that 7 miles from the US Capitol buildings. A place he rested for over 130 years. Plans are now in place to have this marker updated. Please come back often and hopefully I can report some results on this marker soon.