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Mon, 12.07.1863

The 62nd Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops Formed

Memorial Statue, (Lincoln University, MO)

*On December 7–14, 1863, the 62nd Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops was organized.  They were a Black infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War.  It was re-designated from the First Missouri Regiment of Colored Infantry.  The Regiment was organized at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, December 7–14, 1863, attached to the District of St. Louis, Mo., to January 1864. The designation changed to 62nd Regiment United States Colored Troops on March 11, 1864.  

Their orders were as follows: to Baton Rouge, La., March 23, 1864, and duty till June. They were ordered to Port Hudson, Louisiana. District of Baton Rouge, La., Dept. of the Gulf, to June 1864. Provisional Brigade, District of Morganza, Dept. of the Gulf, to September 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, United States Colored Troops, District of Morganza, Dept. of the Gulf, to September 1864. Port Hudson, La., Dept. of the Gulf, to September 1864. Brazos Santiago, Texas, to October 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, United States Colored Troops, Dept. of the Gulf, to December 1864. Brazos Santiago, Texas, to June 1865.

Their last war action was duty at various points in Texas until March 1866. Ordered to St. Louis via New Orleans, LA. Mustered out March 31, 1866.  One of the soldiers' most important achievements came at the war's end. Between duties and after the termination of hostilities, soldiers of the 62nd and 65th U.S. Colored Troops had been learning to read and write.

In the Buffalo Soldiers tradition, the troops of these three regiments agreed they wished to continue their studies as civilians. The soldiers and their officers signed resolutions pledging to work to establish a school "for the special benefit of free blacks." Troops of the 62nd U.S.C.T. were energetic in working towards this goal, raising $4,000 to support the establishment of the planned educational institution.  This effort eventually led to the opening of the Lincoln Institute (now Lincoln University) in Jefferson City, Missouri, on September 16, 1866.  

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