Colored Regiments

August 8, 1862

A brief article tells of a deputation of citizens who met with the President, to “ascertain if he would accept the services of negro regiments”….They also told the President that rebels were arming their slaves for use against the Union. “Mr. Lincoln replied that he could not accept regiments of negroes, but that he would accept as many as would offer their services as laborers.”

Following this article is an order from Gov. Sprague, of Rhode Island, authorizing a regiment of colored citizens, with orders from the Secretary of War, October 23, 1861, indicating that “enlistment will commence immediately”. The article reminds readers that during the Revolution there was a regiment of colored persons from Rhode Island, who were praised by Washington.

Another small item, from the Journal, says that Col. Lyman Dyke, of Stoneham, has tendered his services without pay, “to organize, fit and drill for the field, a regiment of colored men in Massachusetts, if Gov. Andrew shall see fit to follow the example of Gov. Sprague, of Rhode Island…”

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