Edward “Ned” Christian was the husband of Sarah Hulett Christian and father of five children (Robert, Molly, Jacob, Alice and Lillian) born at Shirley Plantation. Family Bible Record, Charles City County Richard M. Bowman Center for Local History Archives. He appears to be one of two slaves purchased 28 DEC 1849 from Joseph Stamper Trustee for Dr. John F. Christian for the sum of $1,300. This interpretation accords with family oral tradition which says that he was brought to Shirley on a boat. The family Bible record lists his birth as 10 JAN 1828, although Shirley records show his birth year as 1830. He was listed as a runaway male slave age 30 who left with the gun boats in July 1863. Undated report filed pursuant to Act of March 28, 1863 by Francis W. Ware, Charles City Commissioner of Revenue, Auditor of Public Accounts: Runaway and Escaped Slaves, Receipts and Reports, 1863, Library of Virginia Archives. On the night of 18 JUL 1863 Ned joined approximately 18 other slaves in making their way out to Union ships in the James River. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving on the USS Wabash and the USS Ohio. During the blockade of South Carolina he lost his left eye. U.S. Navy Widow’s #17176.