Term: Civil War: 29th Infantry, U.S. Colored Troops, Co. F
Co. F of the 29th Infantry, U.S. Colored Troops, was the only African American Civil War unit credited to Wisconsin. During the war, each state was required to supply a quota of soldiers. In order to meet those quotas, states were allowed to pay volunteers to serve in place of people drafted.
Co. F, 29th U.S.C.T., was composed primarily of black soldiers who agreed to take the place of white Wisconsin residents. Most of its men were from Illinois or Missouri. A handful of Wisconsin African Americans, such as Sgt. Alfred Weaver, a former slave living in Vernon County, also joined Company F. Some members of Co. F from other states settled in Wisconsin after the war.
Co. F saw action mostly late in the war, during the Petersburg Campaign and the Appomattox Campaign, June 1864-April 1865. It arrived in Petersburg, Virginia, on July 22, 1864, in the heat of battle. Eleven of its 85 men, including its white colonel, died the next week in the famous Petersburg Mine Assault, or Battle of the Crater. Some of its members witnessed the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to Union commander Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865.
African Americans from Wisconsin also served in other units. View the article Civil War: African American troops for more details.
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[Source: Klement, Frank. Wisconsin in the Civil War (Madison, 1956); Memorial of Colonel John A. Bross... (Chicago, 1865).]