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Townsend, Edward Davis (1817-1893) [General Orders No. 143 regarding the organization of African American troops]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03721.01 Author/Creator: Townsend, Edward Davis (1817-1893) Place Written: Washington, D. C. Type: Printed document signed Date: 22 May 1863 Pagination: 2 p. ; 18.2 x 25 cm.

Summary of Content: Establishes a bureau for organizing and recruiting African American troops. Issued by Townsend as Assistant Adjutant General based upon the orders of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. Excerpts include: "III. Boards will be convened at such posts as may be decided upon by the War Department to examine applicants for commissions to command colored troops, who, on application to the Adjutant General, may receive authority to present themselves to the board for examination. IV. No persons shall be allowed to recruit for colored troops except specially authorized by the War Department; and no such authority will be given to persons who have not been examined and passed by a board; nor will such authority be given any one person to raise more than one regiment. V. The reports of Boards will specify the grade of commission for which each candidate is fit, and authority to recruit will be given in accordance. Commissions will he issued from the Adjutant General's Office when the prescribed number of men is ready for muster into service."

Background Information: The Bureau of Colored Troops, supervised by Assistant Adjutant General Charles W. Foster, delineated guidelines for the recruitment of African American soldiers.

People: Townsend, E. D. (Edward Davis), 1817-1893

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarUnion ForcesGovernment and CivicsAfrican American HistoryAfrican American TroopsRecruitmentUnion GeneralMilitary History

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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