The Battle of Island Mound marked the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat, nearly a year before the battle depicted in the film Glory. Battle of Island Mound State Historic site encompasses Camp Africa, where the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry were camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-Confederate forces near a low hill named Island Mound. When the site is developed, it will interpret the battle, as well as the effect that the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry has on later Union decisions to allow African-American units to fight.

[website for the Missouri Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission]

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  1. Thanks for sharing this. I feel like a lot of academic writing on the USCT fails to recognize the important role Kansas played in recruitment. I had my students do an exercise once where they looked in the indexes to books on black troops to try and find mention of Kansas. Some included it merely in a discursive footnote, while many didn’t mention it at all. I hope that perception is changing. I recommend Roger Cunningham’s work on the subject.

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