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Tue, 09.22.1863

The 8th United States Colored Infantry is Formed

*On this date in 1863, the 8th United States Colored Infantry was formed. 

This infantry regiment was composed of Black enlisted men that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The regiment was commanded by white officers and was authorized by the Bureau of Colored Troops. The 8th U.S. Colored Infantry was organized at Camp William Penn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, under the command of Samuel Armstrong.  

Detailed Service

Left Philadelphia for Hilton Head, S.C., January 16, 1864. Expedition from Hilton Head, S.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., February 5–6, 1864. Occupation of Jacksonville February 7. Advance into Florida February 8–20. Camp Finnegan February 8. Battle of Olustee February 20. Retreat to Jacksonville and duty there until April. Moved to St. John's Bluff on April 17. and duty there until August. Raid on Baldwin July 23–28. Moved to Deep Bottom, Va., August 4–12. Action at Deep Bottom August 12. Duty at Deep Bottom and in trenches before Petersburg until September 27. Battle of Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28–30.

Fort Harrison September 29. Darbytown Road October 13. Battle of Fair Oaks October 27–28. In trenches before Richmond until March 27, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28 – April 9. Hatcher's Run March 29–31. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Pursuit of Lee April 3–9. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Moved to Petersburg on April 11 and duty there until May 24. Sailed from City Point for Texas on May 24. Duty at Ringgold Barracks and on the Rio Grande, Texas, until November 1865. Moved to Philadelphia, Pa. The unit was mustered out of service on November 10, 1865, and discharged at Philadelphia on December 12, 1865.


The regiment lost a total of 251 men during service; 4 officers and 115 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded; 132 enlisted men died of disease.

To Have a Military Career


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