Chris Swift’s comment to my last post raised another question in my mind — were the regiments of colored troops raised during the war considered regular units or volunteers?

I believe they were considered volunteers, as they weren’t constituted as part of the regular army and weren’t intended to exist past the end of the war. They were designated USCT regiments because they weren’t raised in specific states. In the case of the cavalry, after the war many of the soldiers of the USCT cavalry units joined the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments when they formed.

I really hadn’t considered this until Chris pointed out that the 1st Vermont Cavalry, while raised in Vermont, was actually a federal and not a state unit. Thanks for the insight, Chris.

Is this significant? It certainly could be, since if they’re regulars the units in the scope of this blog just doubled.

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