Sergeant Richard Etheridge's Second Act: Background information when reading Black Cloud Rising

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Black Cloud Rising

by David Wright Falade

Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Falade X
Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Falade
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  • Published:
    Feb 2022, 304 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Peggy Kurkowski
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About this Book

Sergeant Richard Etheridge's Second Act

This article relates to Black Cloud Rising

Richard Etheridge in uniform with his crew wearing sailor suitsIn Black Cloud Rising, David Wright Faladé introduces a true and fascinating historical figure in Sergeant Richard Etheridge. Born in 1842 along the shores of North Carolina's Roanoke Island, Etheridge was raised as the property of John B. Etheridge until the Civil War and emancipation ended his physical oppression. As the Union military pushed deeper into Virginia and North Carolina in late 1863, efforts at enlisting freed African American slaves to fight for the Union attracted young Etheridge. He enlisted in the 2nd North Carolina Colored Volunteers (reorganized in 1864 as the 36th United States Colored Infantry) and was appointed a sergeant of Company F, serving for nearly three years. But it was only after the Civil War ended that Etheridge's claim to fame would emerge.

Like most natives of North Carolina's Outer Banks, Etheridge was well-schooled in the ways of the sea, and after he returned home in 1865, he made a living fishing and piloting boats. By 1875, he decided to...

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