An Equal Opportunity General

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910 am  Fort Monroe Va Sept 23rd 11. PM 1863

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Unidentified African American soldier, 22nd USCT. Image in Huntington Digital Library.

Gen Halleck telegram received I shall be
glad to have the colored regiments
now at Baltimore ordered to report
to me at Fort Monroe I need
their services Foster Maj Genl weather good

 

Not all Union generals were enthusiastic about employing African American soldiers – they were often relegated to menial labor rather than combat – but Major General John G. Foster did not share their qualms. Foster took command of Fort Monroe in July of 1863, and in addition to receiving African American reinforcements from Baltimore, the 2nd North Carolina Colored Infantry mustered there in October of 1863.

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