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Sergeant Prince Rivers receives the colors of the First South Carolina Volunteers, Port Royal, South Carolina, January 1, 1863,

Scanned by: 
Don Sailer, Dickinson College
Scan date: 
Cropped, sized, and prepared for use here by John Osborne, Dickinson College, February 22, 2013. 
Image type: 
Original caption: 
"Emancipation Day in South Carolina" The color sergeant of the 1st South Carolina (Colored) Volunteers addressing the regiment, after having been presented with the Stars and Stripes at Smith's Plantation, Port Royal, January 1
Source citation: 
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, January 24, 1863, p. 276.
Source note: 
Cropped from a larger image, also available, here.
The 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry had been formed late in 1862 from escaped slaves mostly from South Carolina and Florida.  The unit was stationed on the former slave plantation of John Joyner Smith, near Port Royal, South Carolina, then designated as Camp Saxton, after the region's military governor, Brigadier-General Rufus Saxton.  On New Years Day 1863, as part of a wide celebration of emancipation in which hundreds of formerly enslaved men and women came from Port Royal, nearby Beaufort, and beyond, the regiment received its colors from its Colonel, Thomas Higginson.  Sergeant Prince Rivers, the new color sergeant, addressed the crowd followed by General Saxton and others.  The 1st South Carolina was the first federally authorized African American regiment and became the 33rd United States Colored Regiment on February 8, 1864.  (By John Osborne)