Sergeant Richard M. Cox (c. 1830-1874) fought for the Union during the Civil War with the United States Colored Troops. Private Cox was profiled by the University of Virginia's John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History in 2017, as part of their Black Virginians in Blue digital project.
Private Cox was born around 1830 in Charlottesville. Not much is known about his first twenty years, but he reappears on the record when he married in the fall of 1849 to an unknown woman for about a year. He married his second wife, Elizabeth Cox, on November 11, 1855, in Pike County, Ohio. Together they had an unnamed child who died in infancy. Cox worked as a farmer before the war and enlisted in the Union army as a free man. His service record describes him as 5 feet, 10 3/4 inches tall, with black hair, black eyes, and yellow complexion.
Cox enlisted and mustered in as a corporal on January 9, 1864, in New Haven, Connecticut. He served in Company K of the 29th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment with Jesse Cowles, also of Albemarle County. He received a promotion to sergeant within a month of enlisting, but he was demoted to corporal on March 1 and to private on May 1, 1865. Cox was absent while sick in a field hospital for some time but likely returned to duty to march through Richmond with the 29th Connecticut when the city was captured. He mustered out with the 29th Connecticut on October 24, 1865, in Brownsville, Texas.
Cox likely returned to Ohio following the war. He re-enlisted on March 14, 1867, and was again promoted to sergeant on March 14, 1870. He served in Company E of the 41st US Infantry Regiment before it was consolidated with several other Black regiments into the 24th US Infantry Regiment, after which he was attached to Company I. His Black regiment, known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," served in the West after the Civil War. He died on April 24, 1874, in an unknown location of unknown causes. Following his death, his widow Elizabeth began receiving a pension of eight dollars a month on July 21, 1890. According to her pension, she died on March 4, 1893.
- Web. [ Richard M. Cox (29th CT Colored)], Website, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History: Black Virginians in Blue, April 11, 2021, retrieved July 29, 2021.