Sunday, September 4, 2011

Honoring Black Civil War Soldiers Organized in Kentucky

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Monument erected in 1924 honoring the US Colored Soldiers from Kentucky

In 1924, The Colored Women's Relief Corps, No. 8 of the Grand Army of the Republic, erected a monument honoring the actions and service of the US Colored Troops, particularly those from Kentucky. It was placed in Greenhill Cemetery in Frankfurt Kentucky. In April of this year another an historical marker honoring black Civil War soldiers of Kentucky was erected.  This marker stands in Simpsonville Kentucky near the site where soldiers were killed. I have also been impressed to see that over the years there have been more efforts to honor black soldiers from Kentucky.
There were many black men from Kentucky who served in the Union Army, and many served in regiments outside of Kentucky. It is said that more than 20,000 black men of Kentucky served in the Union Army from multiple states. Kentucky is an interesting state with rich African American history. The Civil War was also a time in which there was much activity involving African Americans. Black Union regiments were organized, and the slaves---many freed themselves and found refuge at contraband camps like Camp Nelson.

Contraband Camp at Camp Nelson, KY

I have learned also about the various units of Black Union soldiers that came out of Kentucky and have also been impressed to see the list of battles and skirmishes in which they were engaged.  The Kentucky story has to be a rich one, indeed!  I wonder how many of those soldiers had wives and children living in Camp Nelson.
I wonder too, how many Kentucky residents are aware of this unique and wonderfully rich history.  

Kentucky is one of those states that gets overshadowed when USCT history is mentioned.  The mention of Civil War for many brings discussion of the moving Glory, which ironically did not feature a USCT regiment, since the 54th Massachusetts Colored was part of the regular army, and USCTs were volunteers.

Nevertheless, these men of Kentucky's soil deserve to be mentioned and singled out for their bravery.

Black Union Regiments Organized in Kentucky
5th US Colored Cavalry, October 1864
6th US Colored Cavalry, November 1864
8th US Colored Heavy Artillery April 1864
12th US Colored Heavy Artillery July 1864
13th US Colore Heavy Artillery June, 1865
72nd US Colored Infantry April 1865
100th US Colored Infantry, May 1864
107th US Colored Infantry May 1864
108th US Colored Infantry, June 1864
109th US Colored Infantry, July 1864
114th US Colored Infantry,  July 1864
115th US Colored Infantry, July 1864
116th US Colored Infantry, June 1864
117th US Colored Infantry, July 1864
118th US Colored Infantry, Oct 1864
119th US Colored Infantry, January 1865
120th  US Colored Infantry, November 1865
121st US Colored Infantry October 1865
122nd US Colored Infantry  December 1864
123rd US Colored Infantry December 1864
124th US Colored Infantry January 1865
125th  US Colored Infantry February 1865