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Sat, 01.31.1863

The First South Carolina Volunteer Colored Infantry is Formed

1st S.C. Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment

*On this date in 1863, the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored) was formed. This was a Union Army regiment during the American Civil War, formed by General Rufus Saxton.

It was composed of escaped slaves from South Carolina and Florida. It was one of the first black regiments in the Union Army. Department of the South staff officer James D. Fessenden was heavily involved in efforts to recruit volunteers for 1st South Carolina. Although it saw some combat, the regiment was not involved in any of the war's major battles. Its first commander was white-American Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

A proclamation by Confederate President Jefferson Davis had indicated that members of the regiment would not be treated as prisoners of war if taken in battle: The enlisted men were to be delivered to state authorities to be auctioned off or otherwise treated as runaway slaves, while the white officers were to be hanged. The 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored) was mustered out of service on February 8, 1864.

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