Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for May 22nd:
War Department General Order 143: Creation of the U.S. Colored Troops


General Order No. 143, May 22, 1863

General Order No. 143, May 22, 1863; Orders and Circulars, 1797-1910; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s-1917; Record Group 94; National Archives.

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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