Black History: Second Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment


SECOND KANSAS COLORED VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT (1863-1865)
POSTED ONJULY 10, 2014BY CONTRIBUTED BY: AYODALE BRAIMAH


The Second Kansas Colored Regiment, also known as the 83rd U.S. Colored Troop, was best known for its bravery during the Civil War battle of Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas.

The Second Kansas Colored Regiment was authorized and established at Fort Scott and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in June 1863. Soon afterwards active recruitment began among free blacks and ex-slaves who had escaped to Kansas from Missouri, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory during the first years of the War.  Between August 11, 1863 and October 17, 1863 eleven companies (100 men and officers each) were formed and on October 19th, 1863, the regiment left Fort Scott, Kansas on its first assignment, to escort a large supply train to Fort Smith, Arkansas. On November 1, 1863, Samuel Johnson Crawford, who would later become Governor of Kansas, was appointed Colonel of the Regiment when it reached Fort Smith.  The regiment set up camp at the Poteau River, two miles south of Fort Smith, and began training and drilling until it became battle-ready.  When not in battle the regiment spent most of its time on escort or garrison duty.


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