Thursday, February 23, 2012

Michigan's Colored Troops

The 1st Michigan Colored Infantry was formed February 23rd 1863 at Camp Ward.

The editor of the Detroit Tribune and Advertiser, Henry Barns wrote and editorial and then a letter writing campaign to have Michigan form a Colored regiment.  The result was the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry, formed February 23rd 1863.  Barns do to his work to get organization was made the 1st first Colonel.  The regiment was made up of men mostly from southern Michigan and Ontario, Canada, and numbered 1,845.  They had artillery, cavalry and a regimental band.  The 1st was re-named on May 23rd 1864 to the 102nd United States Colored Troops.

The 102nd saw action in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.  They fought with the 54th Massachusetts at Manchester.  They finished out their service doing occupation duty in the south.  The 102nd was mustered out on September 30th 1865, and disbanded in Detroit October 17th 1865.  They lost 6 killed in action, 5 dead from wounds, and 129 who died from disease.

For more information about the 1st Regiment Michigan Volunteer Infantry

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