Battle As An African American Last Name

The 2010 U.S. Census recorded 20,434 black Americans with Battle as their last name. That represented 77% of the total of 26,432 entries.

This article tracks their numbers in the census since the Civil War. We also look at historic African American people named Battle.

We end with a review of early records of black military service in the United States.

After Emancipation

The 1870 census was the first survey after the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1850 and 1860, only free African Americans were recorded in the census. The many enslaved were omitted.

From 1870 onward, all black Americans were included.

2,673 people named Battle were recorded in the 1870 census as black and 197 as mixed.

There was a total of 3,714 people with the name.

Battle In The 1900 And 1940 Census

The mixed category was dropped from the census in 1900, so we just need to look at the black numbers this time.

The 1900 census recorded 4,637 people with the last name Battle as black within a total of 6,118 that year.

By the way, the mixed category returned in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. It was dropped again in 1930, but replaced with extra categories for colored and non-white in a way that seems confusing now.

This changed again in 1940 and we can simply focus on one black category.

The 1940 census recorded 7,697 people named Battle as black within a total of 10,395.

Historic Black Figures With The Battle Surname

Here is a notable African American in history with Battle as their last name.

Joseph Battle

  • Born: 1930
  • From: Rocky Mountain, North Carolina

Joseph Battle graduated with a degree in mathematics from North Carolina Central University in 1953. He went on to complete a masters at the University of Michigan.

Battle taught at public schools in North Carolina in the late 1950s before enrolling in Michigan University to pursue a PhD.

He was awarded his doctorate in 1962. His main field was in the mathematics of graphs.

Other black mathematicians

Battle In Black Military Records

Military records are a rich resource of information for family history research. Here are examples of the Battle surname from different military services:

  • Buffalo soldiers
  • Black civil war sailors
  • Tuskegee airmen

Buffalo Soldiers

Five regiments for black soldiers were formed during the Civil War. They were known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

Their records are part of the national archive of military monthly returns. The information includes the year and place of birth, where they enlisted, their occupation, and their height.

One of the earliest military entries for Battle was in August 1882. Arthur Battle was a Recruit in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry. He was stationed in August 1882 at Fort Davis, Texas.

Another entry was in January 1910. William E. Battle was a Farrier in the U.S. Tenth Cavalry.

If you are researching military ancestors, there is a free index of these records on and

You have to create an account on either website, but you do not need to pay for the Buffalo Soldiers archive.

Black Civil War Sailors

The National Parks Service has a free archive of African American sailors during the Civil War.

The information includes their age, height, rank, occupation, and where and when they enlisted. It also includes every ship that they served on.

You can search the database on the National Parks website.

Frank Battle

One of the earliest entries for Battle was for Frank Battle from Florence, Mississippi. He enlisted in July 1863 at New Orleans when he was aged 17.

The record shows that Frank was assigned on June 1864 to the ship Ossipee.

His naval rank was Landsman.

“Landsman” was the lowest rank at the time and was given to recruits with little sea experience.

Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen were military personnel who served at the Tuskegee Army Airfield or related programs.

Nearly one thousand black pilots graduated from the Tuskegee Institute. They flew single-engine fighter planes or twin-engine bombers. 352 fought in combat.

John Battle graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in December 1943. He qualified as a Liaison pilot. John was from New York City.