Six companies or one battalion of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry was mustered into Union service January 13th 1863 at Fort Scott, Kansas. They were place under the command of Colonel James M Williams of the 5th Kansas Cavalry. The regiment was recruited without Union authorization by James H Lane a Union recruiter for the Kansas territory. It took only 60 days to raise the 500 men.
The 1st saw duty with the Department of Kansas, participating in actions at Cabin Creek, Island Mound, Baxter Springs, Elk Creek, Honey Springs, and Steele’s Camden Expedition among others. They were also attached to Armstrong’s Battery of Light Artillery. No other Kansas regiment saw more casualties then the 1st. They had 178 men killed and 166 die of disease.
The 1st Kansas Colored Infantry stopped being on December 13th 1864, when it became the 79th United States Colored Infantry.
If you’re interested, this web site has more information on the First Kansas, First to Serve