African American soldiers in the Civil War: the United States Colored Troops (USCT)

Pictured here is drummer boy Taylor of the 78th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry (USCI). While no full name is provided with the image of young Taylor, a quick examination of the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System reveals there were five soldiers named Taylor who served in the 78th regiment, USCI. These Taylors were as follows: Alfred, Joseph, Nelson, Robert, and Washington. Which of these five is pictured here with his drum? That question must go unanswered for now…. In the meantime, here’s a summary of young Taylor’s regimental history, courtesy of the National Park Service:

78th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry

Organized April 4, 1864, from 6th Corps de Afrique Infantry. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Corps de Afrique, Dept. of the Gulf, to July, 1864. Post of Port Hudson, La., Dept. of the Gulf, to October, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, United States Colored Troops, Dept. of the Gulf, to October, 1864. Post of Port Hudson, La., Dept. of the Gulf, to April, 1865. District of LaFourche, Dept. of the Gulf, to January, 1866.

SERVICE.–Post and garrison duty at Port Hudson, La., till April, 1865, and at Donaldsonville, Thibodeaux and other points in District of LaFourche, Dept. of the Gulf, to January, 1866. Mustered out January 6, 1866.

Predecessor unit:

CORPS DE AFRIQUE.-UNITED STATES COLORED VOLUNTEERS.

6th REGIMENT INFANTRY.

Organized at Port Hudson, La., September 4, 1863. Attached to Ullman’s Brigade, Corps de Afrique, Dept. of the Gulf, to December, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Corps de Afrique, to March, 1864. Garrison, Port Hudson, La., to April, 1864.

SERVICE.–Duty at Port Hudson, La., August 31, 1863. Designation of Regiment changed to 78th United States Colored Troops April 4, 1864 (which see).

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