Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Excerpt: "From the beginning of the Civil War April 15, 1861 and through most of 1862, the War Department was reluctant to use Negro soldiers. This reluctance was based on fear that such action would drive the Border States out of the Union. Finally, Congress passed two acts on July 17, 1862, which gave the President power to use Negroes in any manner he saw fit. Lincoln, however, still refused to sanction the utilization of Negroes as soldiers. In spite of this, Senator James H. Lane, without the authority of the War Department, began to recruit Negroes in Kansas. During the summer and fall of 1862 he raised over five hundred Negro troops. On January 13, 1863 six companies of Kansas Negroes were mustered into federal service. Four other companies were recruited during the spring of 1863, and on May 2 the Kansas First Colored Volunteer Regiment was complete. During July, 1863, the Kansas First Colored Volunteers participated in two major engagements. On the first of July the regiment took part in an engagement at Cabin Creek, Cherokee Nation. On the sixteenth of July the regiment was a part of the Federal forces which attacked the Confederate depot at Honey Springs, Indian Territory. In both of these engagements, the Negro regiment played an important part in defeating the enemy. During the summer and fall of 1863, the Kansas Second Colored Volunteer Regiment was organized. The regiment, after its original rendezvous at Fort Scott on November 1, proceeded to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where it remained until March 24, 1864. The Kansas First Colored Volunteers also moved to Fort Smith during October, 1863, and remained in that vicinity until March 24, 1864. Both regiments took part in the Camden Expedition in the spring of 1864. The Kansas First Colored Volunteers met a superior Confederate force at Poison Springs on April 18, and were defeated. The Kansas Second Colored Volunteers played an important part in defeating Confederate forces at Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas, April 30. Neither regiment saw very much action during the remaining part of the war. After over a year of escort and fatigue duty, both were mustered out of service during October, 1865. Two other Negro military units were raised in Kansas during the war. The Leavenworth Independent Militia was called into service October 9, 1864, and mustered out of service during the same month. The Independent Colored Battery was mustered into service February 27, 1865. Altogether, Kansas furnished a total of 2,080 Negro troops during the Civil War. In the opinion of civilian and military contemporaries, their performance under circumstances unusual in military annals was substantial and commendable."


Please note that this material contains historic language and images that may be considered offensive or biased, or which marginalize certain individuals and communities. The presence of offensive language or images is not an endorsement by Library Services or by Pittsburg State University.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.