Sergeant James Washington Memorial Award

Purpose: The Sergeant James Washington Memorial Award is a Texas Division level award to be presented to high school students of Black, American Indian, or other non-Hispanic minority heritage in recognition of their exceptional character and scholastic achievement, as well to as recognize the contribution of such minorities to the Confederate Cause.

It is named in honor of Sergeant James Washington, the highest ranking, documented Black soldier serving within the regular component of the Confederate Armed Forces. Sergeant Washington was designated as the Third Sergeant, Company D, 34th Regiment, 11th Texas Cavalry – also known as Terrell’s Texas Cavalry.

Unit rosters showed the 34th to be of multiracial makeup – White, Black, Hispanic and Seminole Indians. Company A had 25 Hispanic and two Black troopers; Company C had 28 Hispanics and five Blacks; Company D was commanded by Capt. Jose Rodriguez and had a Black 3rd Sergeant, James Washington.

Number of Awards: One annual award per high school, but Camps may present the award to more than one high school in their area.

Eligibility: Nominees should be a 12th grade student of Black, American Indian or other non-Hispanic minority heritage that served the Confederate Cause. The student must be nominated by his or her teacher or student advisor and be eligible for graduation upon completion of the current school year. The student should have exceptional character and citizenship, as well as distinguished scholastic achievement in history, geography and social studies.

Selection Process:
• Contact the award “Point of Contact” to verify that the school you wish to honor hasn’t already been selected by another Camp.
• Contact the applicable school administrator and tell them that our organization would like to present the award to the student of their choice.
• Give the administrator a copy of the selection criteria for their review. Ask that they allow at least five weeks from time of nomination to the award presentation date, to allow ample time to create and mail the award.
• Nominations shall include the recipient’s Name (as it is to appear on the certificate), High School (school name and city) of the student to be honored, Date of the presentation, and name and return address of the presenter.
• Forward the award nomination information and fee to the awards POC at least five weeks prior to the presentation ceremony.
• When the presenter receives the certificate, it should be reviewed by the nominating advisor for completeness and accuracy, allowing enough time for any needed corrections.

Form of Award: The award consists of a Certificate and a medal. Camps are encouraged to present a book, such as “Black Confederates” edited by Barrow, Segars and Rosenburg or “Black Southerners in Confederate Armies: A Collection of Historical Accounts” written/edited by Barrow and Segars. (either about $17 from Amazon Books).

POC and Cost of Award: POC: Texas Division Student Awards Coordinator.
There is a $15.00 fee to cover costs of the medal, certificate and mailing, which will be borne by the presenting Camp.

Presentation: The award should be presented in an appropriate ceremony by the nominating SCV Camp Commander or a Brigade officer.