Charles E. Nash

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Charles Edmund Nash
Charles E. Nash, MC (1875-77).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Preceded by District created
Succeeded by Edward White Robertson
Personal details
Born May 23, 1844
Opelousas, Louisiana, U.S.
Died June 21, 1913 (aged 69)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Military service
Allegiance United States of America[1][2]
Service/branch Seal of the United States Board of War and Ordnance.png Union Army[1][2]
Years of service 1863–1865[1][2]
Rank Chevrons - Infantry Sergeant Major - CW.png Sergeant major[1][2]
Unit 82nd Regiment, U.S. Volunteers[1][2]

American Civil War[1][2]

Charles Edmund Nash (May 23, 1844 – June 21, 1913) was an American politician who served a single two-year term as Republican in the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana.

He was Louisiana's first African American Congressman and would remain the state's only black U.S. Representative for more than a century — until 1991, when William J. Jefferson's tenure in the 2nd Louisiana District began.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Nash was born in Opelousas (the seat of St. Landry Parish) in southern Louisiana. He attended the common schools and was a bricklayer by trade.


During the American Civil War, he enlisted in 1863 as a private in the Eighty-second Regiment, United States Volunteers, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant major. (This regiment is listed in the U.S. Colored Troops in the Mobile Campaign Union order of battle.) Nash was severely wounded near the end of the war, at the Battle of Fort Blakely in Alabama, April 1865; he lost part of his leg.[1][2]

After the war Nash was a businessman and was appointed night inspector of U.S. customs.

Nash was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877). He was unsuccessful as a candidate for reelection in 1876, as "Redeemer" Democrats regained control of Louisianan politics. He served briefly as postmaster at Washington in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, during the Chester A. Arthur administration, only from February 15 to May 1, 1882.[2]

Later life and death[edit]

Nash died in New Orleans at the age of sixty-nine. He was interred there in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 3.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Find a Grave". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nash's Congressional biography, Accessed 11 April 2015.
  3. ^ Murray, Shailagh; Lengel, Allan (February 16, 2006). "The Legal Woes Of Rep. Jefferson". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. p. A01. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ Charles Edmund Nash on Find A Grave, Accessed 11 April 2015.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Edward White Robertson