How many US Colored Troops monuments?; How many in the US Colored Troops?


In an earlier post, I mentioned that I was searching through the Internet to determine the number and location of monuments to US Colored Troops. I’ve now found at least nine, in CT, DC, FL, KY, KS, MD, MS, PA, and TN, and there might be one or two more than that. When I feel I’ve gotten a good list, I will share it in a blog entry.

One thing that has disappointed me is that it seems there are no USCT memorials in Louisiana. That state provided the most black soldiers to the Union (24,052 men) of any state, and its role of providing one of the first groups of blacks to serve in the federal army has been well documented. (James G. Hollandsworth, Jr.’s book The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience During the Civil War is a great read for those who are interested in this history. I refer to the Native Guards in this blog entry.)

If any readers are aware of USCT monuments or memorials in Louisiana, please make a reply with the information. Thanks!

FYI, this is the count of US Colored Troopers by state:

COUNT OF US COLORED TROOPS
BY STATE
Union Free States & Territories Number
Pennsylvania 8,612
Ohio 5,092
New York 4,125
Massachusetts 3,966
District of Columbia 3,269
Kansas 2,080
Rhode Island 1,837
Illinois 1,811
Connecticut 1,764
Indiana 1,537
Michigan 1,387
New Jersey 1,185
Iowa 440
Wisconsin 165
New Hampshire 125
Vermont 120
Maine 104
Minnesota 104
Colorado Territory 95
TOTAL 37,818
Union Slave States Number
Kentucky 23,703
Maryland 8,718
Missouri 8,344
Delaware 954
West Virginia 196
TOTAL 41,915
Confederate (Slave) States Number
Louisiana 24,052
Tennessee 20,133
Mississippi 17,869
Virginia 5,723
Arkansas 5,526
South Carolina 5,462
North Carolina 5,035
Alabama 4,969
Georgia 3,486
Florida 1,044
Texas 47
TOTAL 93,346
Other Number
State or Territory Unknown 5,896
GRAND TOTAL – USCT 178,975

Source: Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867, Volume 1, The Black Military Experience: Series II, p 12

In the main, these numbers indicate the state where the soldier enlisted. In the free states especially, it was not uncommon for a (Negro) person to leave his home state to enlist in another. So, for example, many black soldiers from other parts of the North enlisted in Massachusetts, which embraced blacks as soldiers more than, or sooner than, states like New York or Ohio. Some soldiers who enlisted in Kansas are thought to be slaves from Arkansas and Missouri. It is known that at least 5,052 men in the count of soldiers from the free Union states were recruited from Confederate states.

Why do Confederate states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee have such large numbers of colored troops compared to others? It reflects the fact that, due to early Union military successes in the western parts of the Confederacy (which led to Union occupation and control in the states mentioned), the slaves in those states were free and able to enlist in the Union army sooner than those in the southeast.

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5 thoughts on “How many US Colored Troops monuments?; How many in the US Colored Troops?

    • Chris,

      Thanks for the information.

      I recall seeing the Norfolk monument on the Internet, but that was a while ago, and I had forgotten about it – although I did have the feeling there was at least one monument I was missing.

      My list of USCT monuments is probably as complete as it’s going to be. I hope to post the list next week.

  1. Pingback: African Roots Podcast #114 June 10, 2011 « African Roots Podcast.com

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