Back to top

The Army creates the Bureau of Colored Troops to oversee the creation of African-American regiments

United States Colored Troops sentry, City Point, Virginia, 1865
War Department General Order No. 143 mandated a Bureau of Colored Troops to oversee and regularize the recruitment, equipping, and officering of the African-American regiments forming around the country. Regiments were to be numbered in the order they would be formed, black troops could serve as non-commissioned officers, and white officers wishing to command and serve in these regiments were to apply to the Bureau. Major Charles F. Foster was named as head of the unit.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
"News From Washington," New York Times, May 27, 1863, p. 5.
 Hondon B. Hargrove, Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War (Jefferson, NC: Mcfarland & Co.: 1988), 104.