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57th U.S. Colored Infantry
Flag of the United States (1863-1865).svg
Flag of the United States, 1863-1865
Active to
Country United States
Allegiance Union
Branch Infantry
Size Regiment
Nickname(s) 4th Regiment Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (African Descent)
Engagements American Civil War
Commanders
Commander Col. Thomas D. Seawell[1]
Arkansas Union Regiments
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56th United States Colored Infantry 112th United States Colored Infantry

The 57th United States Colored Infantry was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The regiment was composed of African American enlisted men commanded by white officers and was authorized by the Bureau of Colored Troops which was created by the United States War Department on May 22, 1863.

Organization[]

The regiment was organized at Devall's Bluff, Little Rock and Helena, Ark., on December 2, 1863 as the 4th Regiment Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (African Descent). The designation of regiment was changed to 57th U.S. Colored Troops March 11, 1864.[2]

Service[]

The regiment was attached to District of Eastern Arkansas, 7th Corps, Dept. of Arkansas, to May, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 7th Corps, to January, 1865. Colored Brigade, 7th Corps, to February, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 7th Corps, to August, 1865. Dept. of Arkansas to December, 1866.[2]

The regiment was assigned garrison duty at Helena and Little Rock, Ark., till August, 1864. A detachment of the regiment participated in Steele's Camden Expedition, March 23-May 3, 1864, as bridge train guard.[3] The regiment was involved in a Skirmish near Little Rock on April 26, 1864 and conducted operations against Confederate General Joe Shelby north of Arkansas River May 13–31, 1864. The regiment was involved in skirmishes near Little Rock on May 24 and 28, 1864. The regiment march to Brownsville, Ark., on August 23, 1864 and then moved to Duvall's Bluff on August 29, 1864. The regiment was on duty there and at Little Rock till June, 1865.[2]

Special Orders No. 28, Department of Arkansas, dated January 31, 1865, from Little Rock, instructed the 57th United States Colored Infantry to report to the commanding officer at Little Rock, Arkansas for duty.[4] General Orders No. 14 Department of Arkansas, dated February 1, 1865, from Little Rock, included the 57th United States Colored Infantry is reported as belonging to the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division of the 7th Army Corps.[5] On April 21, 1865, the 57th U.S.C.T. was assigned to the forts defending Little Rock, Ar.[6]

When the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi surrendered on May 26, 1865, the unit was in divided between Little Rock and Duvall's Bluff. The unit was transferred to Ft. Smith, where they spent the months immediately following the war as guard and provost martial of the city.[7] Because of the large number of black soldiers stationed in Ft. Smith. Stationed at the Ft. Smith military outpost, and with the establishment of the Freedman's Bureau in Ft. Smith, operated by the Federal army, many of the first black marriages performed in Ft. Smith, were between the soldiers of the 57th US Colored Troops and the local women. The unit would remain in Ft. Smith for many months, and many became distinguished citizens of the towns freed population, settling down to begin their new civilian lives as free men.[8]

Mustered out of service[]

The 57th US Colored Troops remained on duty at Fort Smith till December 1866. Companies "A" and "D" mustered out October 18–19, 1866.[2] The remainder of the regiment mustered out December 31, 1866, a full 18 months after the end of the Civil War. Many remained in the city to become prominent citizens in the black community.[8]

See also[]

Notes[]

  1. Thompson, Alan "Re: U.S. Colored Troops", Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board, Posted 9/7/2013, Accessed 10 September 2013, http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs62x/arcwmb/webbbs_config.pl?page=1;md=read;id=28593
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, National Park Service".
  3. United States. War Dept.. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 34, In Four Parts. Part 1, Reports., Book, 1892; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146033/m1/701/?q=African Descent : accessed September 12, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.
  4. United States. War Dept.. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 48, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports, Correspondence, etc., Book, 1896; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth139842/m1/708/?q=fifty-seventh : accessed September 11, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.
  5. United States. War Dept.. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 48, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports, Correspondence, etc., Book, 1896; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth139842/m1/728/?q=Arkansas fifty-fourth United States Colored infantry : accessed September 11, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.
  6. United States. War Dept.. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 48, In Two Parts. Part 2, Correspondence, etc., Book, 1896; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth139841/m1/153/?q=fifty-seventh : accessed September 11, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.
  7. United States. War Dept.. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 48, In Two Parts. Part 2, Correspondence, etc., Book, 1896; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth139841/m1/1122/?q=fifty-seventh : accessed September 11, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The 57th U.S. Colored Troops, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, Accessed 3 September 2013, http://www.angelfire.com/ar/freedmen/57.html

References[]

  • Robertson, Brian K. “‘Will They Fight? Ask the Enemy’: United States Colored Troops at Big Creek, Arkansas, July 26, 1864.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 66 (Autumn 2007): 320–332.

External links[]

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