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Creation of the U.S. Colored Troops

War Department General Order 143: Creation of the U.S. Colored Troops (detail)
The War Department issued General Order 143 on May 22, 1863, creating the United States Colored Troops. By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10 percent of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army, and another 19,000 served in the Navy.
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Today’s Document from the National Archives

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