Edson could be an emancipated slave who enlisted after the civil war in 1899 from Louisiana - I could be wrong - But I have only researched for just an hour or so. He was a waiter prior to his service and his complexion was listed as "Dark" - The blue eyes is throwing me off.
But I found another document which is in the photos that has a letter N for race. The item "1901 POST Civil War Soldier Discharge Papers Emancipated Slave + Bonus d 326" is in sale since Sunday, March 22, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Documents". The seller is "projecttmf" and is located in Baltimore, Maryland.This item can be shipped worldwide.