Private William Adams was born on the 21st of August, 1938, the son of Jack Adams and Ann Mariah Williams. He was likely part of the community of freeborn African Americans in Maryland.
On June 16th, 1864, he was drafted into the US Army. Private Adams served during the Civil War, as part of Company C in the 30th Regiment of the US Colored Troops. He was mustered out on 10 Dec 1865.
Private Adams returned to Westminster and worked as an iron ore miner, and later as a farm laborer. He married Eliza Bell, and they had three children, William, Eva and Bessie.
Mr. Adams died on 27 February, 1914 and is buried at Ellsworth Cemetery near Westminster, Maryland.
Two grandsons — Fred Sims and John Adams — followed their grandfather in service, joining the US Army and the US Navy respectively during the second World War.