John Albion Andrew, United States Colored Troops (American National Biography)

James Brewer Stewart, "Andrew, John Albion," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Concurrent with his efforts for aid for freedpeople, Andrew took the lead in the experiment in racial egalitarianism for which he is most famous, the mobilization of African-American soldiers.

Andrew was the politician best situated to transform into military policy the demands of black activists that African Americans be allowed to achieve their own equality through combat. In January 1863, after several months of vigorous lobbying, Andrew obtained authorization from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to recruit an African-American regiment in Massachusetts, but only with the proviso that all commissioned officers be white. Swallowing his objections to this stipulation, Andrew organized the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers.
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