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62nd USCT, Texas, 1865
Missouri, United States
Joined: February 15, 2009
KitMaker: 11 posts
6th Scale: 10 posts
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2009 - 01:18 PM UTC
This member of the 62 US Colored Troops is taking some of the strain off his shoulders during a brief rest during the march to what would be the last battle of the American Civil War at Palmetto Ranch Texas, May 12, 13, 1865. This was more than a month after Lee had surrendered I Virginia.

(Link to the history of the battle )http://books.google.com/books?id=J8s...esult#PPA77,M1 )

Missouri was the home base of seven USCT regiments. The 1st Missouri Colored Infantry Regiment was organized at Schofield Barracks near St Louis in May 1863 and came into Federal service as the 62nd USCT on March 11, 1864. The 62nd was deployed to Louisiana in late March, 1864 and while there, the regimental commander, Lt. Col. David Branson, issued an order that required all non-commissioned officers to learn to read or be replaced by soldiers from the ranks who could read.

Order By the Commander.
Morganzia, La. July 3rd 1864.
General Order No. 31
All non-Commissioned officers of this command who shall fail to learn to read by or before the 1st day of January 1865 will be reduced to the ranks and their places filled by persons who can read. In the position of Sergeants preference will be given to men who can both read & write and are otherwise good soldiers. All soldiers of this command who have by any means learned to read or write, will aid and assist to the extent of their ability their fellow soldiers to learn these invaluable arts, without which no man is properly fitted to perform the duties of a free citizen.

By order of Lt. Col. David Branson Comm'd'g Regt.
General Order No. 31, HD. Qrs. 62d Cold. Infty.., 3rd July 1864, Orders, 62nd USCI, Regimental Books &Papers USCT, RG 94 {G-235}. Six months later, Branson reduced five noncommissioned officers to the ranks for failing to comply with the order.
This was an exceptional order considering that in most places it was against the law to teach blacks to read

In October of 1864 the regiment was moved to Texas and the following order was issued,

Brazos Santiago, Texas. October 29th 1864
General Orders No. 35
Hereafter when any soldier of this command is found to be, or to have been, playing cards, he will be placed, standing, in some prominent position in the camp with book in hand, and required then and there to learn a considerable lesson in reading and spelling: and if unwilling to learn, he will be compelled by hunger to do so. When men are found gambling in any way, the money at stake will be seized and turned into the Regt. Hospital fund. No freed slave who cannot read well has a right to waste the time and opportunity here given him to fit himself for the position of a free citizen. This order will be read twice to this command, and copied in each order book.
By order of Lieut. Col. David Branson. Comdg. Regt.

A new regimental commander was appointed in January of 1865 and he continued the task of educating his soldiers.

Brazos Santiago Texas January 25th 1865.
General Orders No. 4.
The Regimental Council of Administration having appropriated Fifty Dollars for the purchase of premiums for the encouragement of the enlisted men of this Regiment to learn to write it is hereby ordered. That a gold pen be given to the Sergeant in each Company, who shall learn to write the best by the fourth day of July 1865.
That a gold pen be given the Corporal in each Company who shall learn to write the best
by the 4th day of July 1865. That a good book be given the private of each Company who
shall learn to write the best by the 4th day of July 1865. These rewards to be publicly given by a committee chosen as mentioned in orders.
By order of Major J. K Hudson Commanding Regt.

Following the end of hostilities, the 62nd was stationed at Fort McIntosh, Texas. Perhaps emboldened by their new found literacy, the men of the 62nd began discussing the creation of a school of higher learning for the recently freed slaves and their descendants. They called the school “Lincoln Institute.” The soldiers collected a total of $5,000.00 from their pay with matching sums from some of the white officers, to start the school. The soldiers of the 65th USCT ( the old 2nd Missouri Colored Infantry) desired to participate and collected $1400.00 for the cause. The soldiers made the following stipulations:

1. The institution shall be designed for the special benefit of the freed Negroes;
2. It shall be located in the state of Missouri;
3. Its fundamental idea shall be to combine study and labor.

On September 17, 1866, the soldiers’ dream came true when Lincoln Institute opened its doors to its first class in an old building in Jefferson City, Missouri’s capital, under the direction of Richard Foster, Lieutenant in Co. I of the 62nd. Three years late, it moved to its present site on the East side of Jefferson City, and in 1921, the name was changed to Lincoln University. The University still thrives today as part of the Missouri State University system.
Kobenhavn, Denmark
Joined: June 29, 2004
KitMaker: 6,168 posts
6th Scale: 34 posts
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2009 - 11:44 PM UTC
Very nice figure Bill.
Thanks for the historical info. Interesting.
Georgia, United States
Joined: September 26, 2009
KitMaker: 2 posts
6th Scale: 1 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 26, 2009 - 07:54 AM UTC
Absolutely wonderful figure Bill. How can I go about getting one?