Soldiers of Color

Recruiting of black soldiers was not authorized until 1862 due to President Lincoln’s concerns that this would cause border states to secede. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, to free all slaves in rebellious areas. Black soldiers were actively recruited in the Northern States after that date as regiments were established. The first black regiment that Connecticut authorized was the 29th (Colored) Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, formed in 1863; the regimental roster was completed in January 1864. They fought at Petersburg and Chapin’s Farm, Virginia, and two companies were the first Union infantry into Richmond.

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