Saturday, June 25, 2011

From Corps d'Afrique to the US Colored Troops - Black Civil War Soldiers of Louisiana

Miliken's Bend Louisiana was part of the Vicksburg Campaign 
Involving USCT from Louisiana & Mississippi

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When I became interested in the stories of Black Union Soldiers I was curious to find out how many soldiers were from each state.  I was more than surprised when I learned that so many of the regiments organized came from the state of Louisiana. In fact----I was so amazed to learn that 39 black regiments came from Louisiana.

The stories of the Louisiana Native Guards, from the French Creole community are well known and well documented.  But what about those from the enslaved communities---those enslaves persons of African descent---they made up the majority of the Louisiana regiments. I became interested in their story, simply because---there were so many regiments from Louisiana:

Louisiana Black Union Regiments
4th US Colored Cavalry
10th US Colored Heavy Artillery
Battery C
Battery D
Battery E
47th US Colored Infantry
48th US Colored Infantry
49th US Colored Infantry
50th US Colored Infantry
63rd US Colored Infantry
64th US Colored Infantry
73rd US Colored Infantry
74th US Colored Infantry
75th US Colored Infantry
76th US Colored Infantry
77th US Colored Infantry
78th US Colored Infantry
79th US Colored Infantry (old)
80th US Colored Infantry
81st US Colored Infantry
82nd US Colored Infantry
83rd  US Colored Infantry (old)
84th US Colored Infantry
85th US Colored Infantry
86th US Colored Infantry
87th US Colored Infantry (old)
87th US Colored Infantry (new)
88th US Colored Infantry (old)
89th US Colored Infantry
90th US Colored Infantry
91st US Colored Infantry
92nd US Colored Infantry
93rd US Colored Infantry
95th US Colored Infantry
96th US Colored Infantry
97th US Colored Infantry
98th US Colored Infantry
99th US Colored Infantry
7th Louisiana Colored Infantry

One of the more memorable battles fought in Louisisana was that of Miliken's Bend.  

In addition to Miliken's Bend, I learned that Black soldiers would also  play a major part in the seige of Port Hudson, in May 1863.  Civil War illustrators for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, captured an image of the seize of Port Hudson involving Louisiana's Black soldiers in 1863.

Assault of the 2nd Louisiana Colored Infantry on the Iron Words at Port Hudson

References to Louisiana's rich Civil War history, must include the Corps d'Afrique, the name originally given to these soldiers of African descent from that state.  

In some photos, such as this one, Black Louisiana Union soldiers were identified as Corps D'Afrique

At the New York Public Library, Image Gallery in the work, "Soldiers of the American Army, 1775-1941, a rare color drawing of Corps d'Afrique soldiers in uniform is found.

This image is a rare drawing of Corp D'Afrique Uniforms

Louisiana has a rich Civil War history, and beyond the 39 black Union regiments from the state there were the thousands of men, women and children who resisted and who made it to the line as contrabands. Man worked at the encampments as scouts, spies, laundresses, nurses, field hands, blacksmiths and teamsters. Their untold stories now lie buried in the soil where these proud Louisiana people now rest. 

This list of regiments is merely to mention them to catch the attention of sons and daughters of Louisiana and and hopefully Louisiana descendants will fully embrace them and truly tell their stories.


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