Former Georgia slaves played a critical but little-known role in the historic struggle that pried open the door to black enlistment in the U.S. military during the Civil War.
The courage and bravery of the men who served in experimental all-black regiments helped convince President Lincoln to "rewrite" his historic Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln's revision was the catalyst for the enlistment of 200,000 black men in the Union Army and Navy, and transformed the conflict over "states' rights" into a crusade to abolish American slavery.
We will explain the difference between Civil War Colored regiments and Buffalo Soldiers, who came AFTER the Civil War.
We will look through the Buffalo Soldier profiles--many of those soldiers started in the Civil War, and went on to the Buffalo Soldiers because of their army experience.
Ancestry.com -- In their Civil War documents there is a topic heading about the Colored Troops.
Footnote.com -- In their Civil War documents there is a topic heading about the Colored Troops.
Volunteer Regiments. Before the USCT was formed, there were several Volunteer regiments raised from freed southern blacks. Nearly all of them were converted into USCT units.
Detachment, Quartermaster's Department . Pioneer Corps, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps. Pioneer Corps, Cavalry Division, 16th Army Corps.
State Volunteers. There were four regiments that were considered Regular units rather than auxiliaries becuase they were formed from free northern blacks at the start of the war. They got the same pay and benefits as Regular Army or State Militia regiments. Their veteran status allowed them to get valuable government jobs, something usually closed to African-Americans. However, they didn't receive recognition for honors and awards until the turn of the century.
5th Massachusetts (Colored) Volunteer Cavalry Regiment 54th Massachusetts (Colored) Volunteer Infantry Regiment 55th Massachusetts (Colored) Volunteer Infantry Regiment 29th Conneticut (Colored) Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Corps de Afrique. The Corps de Afrique was formed in New Orleans after it was taken by Union forces. It was formed around the Louisiana Native Guards. The Native Guards were Militia units formed from property-owning free blacks who were refused a chance to serve in the Confederate Army. Later units wre formed around freed blacks liberated from nearby plantations. They were treated and paid like auxiliaries although they served with distinction at the Battle of Port Hudson.
4 Regiments of Louisiana Native Guards (renamed the 1st-4th Corps de Afrique Infantry, later made into the 73rd-76th US (Colored) Infantry on April 4, 1864). 1st and 2nd Brigade Marching Bands, Corps de Afrique (later made into Nos. 1 and 2 Bands, USCT). 1 Regiment of Cavalry (1st Corps de Afrique Cavalry, later made into the 4th US (Colored) Cavalry). 22 Regiments of Infantry (1st-20th, 22nd, and 26th Corps de Afrique Infantry, later converted into the 77th-79th, 80th-83rd, 84th-88th, and 89th-93rd US (Colored) Infantry on April 4, 1864). 5 Regiments of Engineers (1st-5th Corps de Afrique Engineers, later converted into the 95th-99th US (Colored) Infantry regiments on April 4, 1864). 1 Regiment of Heavy Artillery (later converted into the 10th US (Colored Heavy) Artillery on May 21, 1864).
USCT Regiments. 6 Regiments of Cavalry [1st-6th USC Cavalry] 1 Regiment of Light Artillery [2nd USC (Light) Artillery] 1 Independent USC (Heavy) Artillery Battery 13 Heavy Artillery Regiments [1st and 3rd-14th USC (Heavy) Artillery] 1 unassigned Company of Infantry [Company A, US Colored Infantry] 1 Independent USC Company of Infantry [Southard's Company, Pennsylvania (Colored) Infantry] 1 Independent USC Regiment of Infantry [Powell's Regiment, US Colored Infantry] 135 Regiments of Infantry [1st-138th USC Infantry] (The 94th, 105th, and 126th USC Infantry regiments were never fully formed)
Notes: 1.The 2nd USC (Light) Artillery Regiment (USCA) was made up of 9 separate batteries grouped into 3 nominal battalions of three batteries each. The batteries were usually detached. I Battalion: A,B & C Batteries. II Battalion: D, E & F Batteries. III Battalion: G, H & I Batteries. 1.The second raising of the 11th USC Infantry (USCI) was created by converting the 7th USC (Heavy) Artillery into an infantry unit. 2.The second raising of the 79th USC Infantry (USCI) was formed from the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry. 3.The second raising of the 83rd USC Infantry (USCI) was formed from the 2nd Kansas Colored Infantry. 4.The second raising of the 87th USCI was fromed from merging the first raisings of the 87th and 96th USCI. 5.The second raising of the 113th USCI was formed by merging the first raisings of the 11th, 112th, and 113th USCI.