Second Lieutenant Ezekiel G. Tomlinson, Captain Luis F. Emilio, and Second Lieutenant Daniel Spear

3596-030

Unknown Photographer, Second Lieutenant Ezekiel G. Tomlinson, Captain Luis F. Emilio, and Second Lieutenant Daniel Spear, October 12, 1863, tintype, 3 1/4 x 2 7/16 in. (8.6 x 6.5 cm.), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

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Pictured at center, Luis Fenollosa Emilio (1844–1918) was a captain and commander of Company E of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, he was only sixteen when he enlisted (although he gave his age as eighteen, the official requirement for service in the Union army). After the Battle of Fort Wagner, during which Colonel Shaw and many of the other officers were killed, Emilio became the regiment’s acting commander. He would continue to fight with the regiment for over three years. When he mustered out of the army at the war’s end, he was not yet twenty-one.

After the war Emilio worked as a real estate developer, first in California and later in New York. In the 1880s he began to prepare a book about the 54th, publishing the first edition in 1891 and a revised edition three years later. Still available, A Brave Black Regiment: The History of the 54th Massachusetts, 1863–1865, offers a rare firsthand account of the regiment’s formation and distinguished military record. Emilio had collected 108 photographs of different members of the regiment, some of which he used in his book and which are now in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Some of these images are available online, along with other resources on the regiment.