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Colored Battery at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas

Colored Battery at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas

Photo: Kansas Historical Society

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  • This photograph shows the men of the Independent Battery, U.S. Colored Light Artillery, positioned in front of the guard
    house at Fort Leavenworth. The battery, organized in June 1864, was one of just a handful of Union units led by African
    American officers. Its commander, Captain H. Ford Douglas, worked tirelessly to better the conditions under which his
    men served. Of the 208 enlisted men in the battery, more than 160 were recruited from Leavenworth. Others came from
    Fort Scott, Kansas, and the Wyandotte and Quindaro communities in what is now Kansas City, Kansas. As the federal
    troops occupied the South, similar Black batteries were organized in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia