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U. S. Colored Troops of Crawford County, Arkansas
United States Colored Troops of Crawford County, Arkansas
By Angela Y. Walton-Raji
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The United States Colored Troops were organized in 1863. Crawford County, Arkansas seems an unlikely place that a good number of men would live who would have served in these Union regiments. However, there were many black men who had been enslaved, who lived in the county before the War, and there were others who would later settle in the county after the Civil War ended, after they had won their freedom. There were 6 regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops that were organized in the state of Arkansas, and when the black men of the area in this small NW Arkansas community had an opportunity to fight for their freedom, many of them seized the opportunity immediately. Some left and fled to Kansas, joining the 83rd US Colored infantry, others merely slipped across the river to Ft. Smith, enlisting in the 11th U.S. Colored Infantry when it was organized, while others joined the illustrious 57th U.S. Colored Infantry. Nevertheless, several dozen men have been documented to have come from the community and who returned home after the war as veterans of the Union Army.
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